Posts Tagged 'CVS Caremark'

CVS Caremark: Time to Cut the Knot – Is PBM Divestiture Best for Patients, Payers AND Shareholders?

With CVS Caremark’s third quarter 2010 investors call this week and Walgreens’ reported plans to sell off its pharmacy benefit management business, it’s an appropriate time to (again) ask: Would divestiture of the PBM Caremark be in everyone’s best interests?

Continue reading ‘CVS Caremark: Time to Cut the Knot – Is PBM Divestiture Best for Patients, Payers AND Shareholders?’

CVS Caremark’s Latest Legal Headaches? A Record $77.6 Million Settlement with DEA in Meth Case and a Scolding, Fine by a California Court

The already extensive list of government entities scrutinizing CVS Caremark’s behavior just got longer. DEA joins the alphabet soup with a record $77.6 million settlement, which includes a $75 million fine (the largest ever under the Controlled Substances Act) and the forfeiture of $2.6 million in profits from illegal sales. Could the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) be next? Meanwhile, a California court upheld a $42,000 fine against Caremark for acting in “bad faith” in a whistleblower lawsuit.

Continue reading ‘CVS Caremark’s Latest Legal Headaches? A Record $77.6 Million Settlement with DEA in Meth Case and a Scolding, Fine by a California Court’

CVS Caremark’s Analyst Day Comes Amid Mounting Problems for the Company

While the company prepares to dispense “happy talk” at its “Analyst Day” October 8th, the numerous government inquiries into CVS Caremark’s business practices seem to offer a less-than-rosy glimpse of the company’s outlook:

  • The Federal Trade Commission is actively investigating CVS’ merger with pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Caremark. The FTC has not yet reached a resolution, but has  testified about the investigation and cited that it involves both competition and consumer protection issues. (You can read NCPA’s case for the investigation here.)
  • The Senate Aging Committee recently began asking CVS Caremark questions regarding possible patient steering and cost concerns for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. This could be followed by other investigations, perhaps by Medicare or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights Subcommittee recently requested a briefing from CVS Caremark and has asked for a similar briefing from the FTC.
  • A national and state class action suit was launched in October against CVS Caremark, charging among other things that CVS Caremark was committing RICO violations as a result of the improper exchange and misuse of personal information and widespread violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This suit poses significant potential liability for CVS Caremark and could compel the restructuring of their use of information.
  • Private patient information entrusted to CVS Caremark was found blowing in the streets of Manhattan this summer, The New York Daily News reported. The incident comes barely one year the company agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it failed to take “reasonable and appropriate security measures” to protect the sensitive financial and medical information of customers and employees, a violation of federal law.  In a companion agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CVS Caremark paid $2.25 million to settle alleged HIPAA violations.
  • Meanwhile, 24 state attorneys general are conducting ongoing investigations of allegations of deceptive and anticompetitive conduct by CVS Caremark.

CVS Caremark is facing potential enforcement action from the FTC and state regulators, enormous pressure from Congress, and huge litigation costs. The federal antitrust agencies have trained their enforcement guns at major corporations that engage in exclusionary tactics and handcuff their rivals.  In the last three months, the FTC settled the Intel case and earlier this week the Department of Justice brought a major enforcement action against American Express and settled cases with VISA and MasterCard, changing how consumers will be able to shop in the future.

Perhaps CVS Caremark is the next shoe to drop?

Is CVS Caremark’s Medication Adherence Talk Just Lip Service?

A tale of two companies seems to be emerging when it comes to CVS Caremark and the push for greater patient adherence to prescribed medication.

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Alabama Pharmacist Shares PBM Problems with U.S. Senator

Norman Davis of Phenix City, Alabama’s Medical Park Pharmacy recently gave U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) a piece of his mind about a problem not unique to the Yellowhammer State: frustrating and unreasonable pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) audits. 

Continue reading ‘Alabama Pharmacist Shares PBM Problems with U.S. Senator’

CVS Caremark Practices Draw Unprecedented Media Scrutiny

The CVS Caremark-Walgreens standoff has brought more attention to questions about CVS Caremark’s business practices than any time since CVS revealed in November that it was the subject of a Federal Trade Commission or since NCPA met with the FTC one year ago to ask for an investigation.

Continue reading ‘CVS Caremark Practices Draw Unprecedented Media Scrutiny’

CVS Caremark, FTC Investigation Still Hot Topics in Washington

CVS Caremark has been battered by Walgreens and Wall Street this week and Washington hasn’t exactly forgotten about the multiple state and federal investigations into the company’s business practices, either.   Continue reading ‘CVS Caremark, FTC Investigation Still Hot Topics in Washington’

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