There were at least two trending topics on Thursday involving CVS Pharmacy, following reports that the pharmacy and insurance giant was called out by a startup for attempting to reduce birth control reimbursement rates. The hashtags included #BoycottCVS and #CVSDeniesCare.
According to a Thursday report from Business Insider, healthcare startup Pill Club has started a public feud with established health care company CVS Caremark over the price that CVS pays Pill Club to send birth control to its customers. The company, according to Business Insider, is part of a group of startups that have begun to prescribe birth control online and deliver it to patients’ homes.
The company, called Pill Club, posted a page to its website called, “CVS, don’t take away access to birth control,” in a plea to the health care company to meet its demands. On the webpage it posted, the company claims that it believes CVS doesn’t understand the consequences of making what Pill Club called “devastating cuts.”
Pill Club said it would be forced to stop providing birth control to customers who use the CVS Caremark insurance unless the company agrees to continue paying the previously-negotiated price that was in place prior to July 5.
But per the report Thursday from Business Insider, CVS Caremark said in a statement that Pill Club’s statements about patients losing access to birth control were “misleading.”
Pill Club’s website claims that 70 percent of the company’s members have in the past had difficulties obtaining birth control from other providers, that 80 percent of their customers have concerns that job or family circumstances could prevent them from accessing birth control, and that 55 percent of customers claimed they would stop taking birth control without access to Pill Club’s services.
Some linked the company’s alleged cost-cutting measure to its support of the president’s re-election campaign.
This isn't a coincidence; @cvspharmacy Caremark supports the same politicians who are cracking down on reproductive health care.
— Maureen Shaw (@MaureenShaw) August 15, 2019
In a Twitter thread started by NARAL Pro-Choice President Ilyse Hogue, Hogue used the #CVSDeniesCare hashtag and linked the company’s decision to cut reimbursement rates for mail-order birth control to the company’s financial support of President Donald Trump’s campaign for re-election and other Republican members of Congress, who have often supported cuts to abortion and birth control access.
Other users supported the #BoycottCVS hashtag.
“For a lot of women, like me, birth control is much more than a contraceptive,” one user wrote in a tweet blasting the health care company. “My periods were so debilitating that I could not function without it.
According to its website, Pill Club is a startup company founded by a Duke University medical student and a starter of a family-planning startup. The Pill Club team includes four divisions: a medical team that prescribes birth control to patients, a pharmacy team to process patient prescriptions, a patient care team to help with signups and a marketing and technology team to deal with running the operation “smoothly.”