Hopkinton's only drugstore is suing CVS, alleging the national pharmacy giant is trying to muscle into the town by cutting off a key part of its business.
In a lawsuit filed this week in US District Court, Hopkinton Drug alleges the CVS wing that administers pharmacy benefits for many employers is refusing to do any more business with the store as part of an "unlawful civil conspiracy" with the CVS wing that runs retail outlets, in an attempt to break into the Hopkinton pharmacy market.
The store says it addressed all the issues raised in a 2013 audit by CVS, related to sales of compounded drugs in states in which the store wasn't licensed - won an arbitrator's decision that CVS repay $700,000 it had withheld pending the completion of that audit.
Hopkinton Drug says roughly 28% of its business comes from patients in plans for which CVS provides pharmacy benefits and that without the business, it will have to lay off nearly half its 48 workers. The store says state law requires pharmacy-benefits managers to offer contracts to all pharmacies willing to meet its standard terms, which Hopkinton says it is.
Hopkinton Drug alleges "unlawful civil conspiracy" by the two CVS subsidiaries because the pharmacy, founded in 1954, refuses to sell its location to CVS and the chain has been unable to find another location in the normally quiet town in which to open up shop.
Hopkinton Drug is seeking injunctions that would force CVS to resume its contract and knock off the attempts to drive it out of business - plus treble damages and lawyers' fees.