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BUSINESS
July 25, 2013 | David Lazarus
"Good news - you've been accepted!" the letter says. "Get up to 75% off when you use these free cards at your favorite pharmacy!" Enclosed are two plastic cards from National Prescription Savings Network that include personal "member identification numbers" and the pledge that "you will not be turned down for a pre-existing condition. " The cards are "pre-activated and ready to use immediately," the letter says. "They entitle you - and every member of your family - to discounts on every FDA-approved prescription medication sold at pharmacies everywhere in the United States.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
CVS Caremark Corp., the country's second-largest pharmacy chain, has agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges that it misled investors and used improper accounting techniques to artificially boost its financial earnings, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday.  The charges stem from activities that occurred in the third and fourth quarters of 2009, regulators said.  According to the SEC, CVS had conducted a $1.5-billion...
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OPINION
October 27, 2012
Re "Scrutiny not new for drug chain," Oct. 24 I for one am elated that CVS may be overbilling my health insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross. I was happy with Walgreens, which provided better service for my family's prescription needs. But Anthem forced me to go with CVS, the only other pharmacy near my home. Since my complaints to Anthem fell on deaf ears, I find some satisfaction knowing that Anthem might be taking it in the shorts because of CVS and its questionable practices.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Milk, bread and Obamacare. Ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline, the Covered California exchange said Friday that it reached a deal with pharmacy giant CVS Caremark Corp. and the Ralphs grocery chain to promote the healthcare law inside their stores. The state said it will have health insurance information displays at the front of CVS stores. At Ralphs supermarkets, shoppers can get brochures and other information, hear in-store announcements and see messages on their receipts about health coverage.
OPINION
July 25, 2012
Re "CVS should ask before sign-ups for automatic refills," Column, July 20 I was pleased to read David Lazarus' piece on CVS' practice of automatically refilling prescriptions without asking the customer first. There have been other negative consequences of this practice. First, my doctor won't respond to faxes from CVS anymore specifically because of its auto-fill practices. Now, for any routine prescription refills, I have the added step of sending a letter to my doctor first for authorization; only after that will the office contact CVS. Staff members told me that they had to create the policy because they became wary about so many automatic refill fax requests coming in from CVS when the patient either didn't need more medication or wasn't authorized by the insurance company for refills yet. Second, the CVS auto-fills are often preceded by annoying robo-calls to our home.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - State pharmacy regulators have opened an investigation into reports that CVS Caremark Corp. refilled prescriptions and billed insurance companies without patients' consent. Virginia Herold, executive officer of the California Board of Pharmacy, said Tuesday that investigators were probing complaints about the refill practices of the country's largest drugstore chain after Walgreen Co. Herold said the complaints concerning "CVS and refills" were similar to allegations raised in four Los Angeles Times reports published in the last three months.
BUSINESS
October 9, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Has your pharmacy ever refilled a prescription for you without your authorization? Some customers of CVS have been complaining that that has happened to them. Consumer columnist David Lazarus and Business Editor Marla Dickerson discuss the complaints, which Lazarus has written about in a series of stories in the Los Angeles Times. Lazarus reported last week   about confidential emails from a CVS supervisor in New Jersey instructing pharmacists there to refill prescriptions and submit claims to insurers without people's approval.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2012 | By Shan Li
--Facing an uncertain U.S. economy and a flailing Europe, Italian fashion house Prada is planning to open 260 stores in the next three years to capture consumers in emerging markets who are hungry for luxury goods, a report says. The Milan company, which owns Miu Miu and Church's in addition to its marquee Prada brand, is planning fresh outlets in countries such as Turkey, China and Brazil, according to Bloomberg. Prada Chief Executive Patrizio Bertelli (also husband of head designer Miuccia Prada)
BUSINESS
October 9, 2012 | David Lazarus
George Engelke manages his CVS prescriptions online. If he needs more of a medicine, he orders it. If he's going to be away from his Corona del Mar home, he tells the pharmacy where to send the shipment. He's never asked CVS to automatically refill his prescriptions. Engelke, 76, recently returned from a vacation in Montana, where he had CVS send a single order of his glaucoma medication and syringes for insulin injections. He got a call from the drugstore the other day informing him that they'd taken the liberty of sending another batch of supplies to the Montana address.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2012 | By Shan Li
Drugstore operator CVS Caremark Corp. is planning to close all 25 of its upscale Beauty 360 stores and accompanying website as it looks to expand other cosmetic offerings. Twenty-three of those shops are located in California, including four Southland stores in Manhattan Beach, Rolling Hills Estates, Yorba Linda and Mission Viejo. All stores will be shuttered by May 19, the company said. Originally billed as a makeup destination for the "time-starved woman," Beauty 360 was conceived in 2008 as a high-end shop that carried more prestigious brands than the average CVS drugstore and offered spa-like services such as hand massages and express facials.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Twenty-eight attorneys general from 24 states, three U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. are pressuring five retailers, including Walgreen Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to follow the move by CVS Caremark Corp. and end sales of tobacco.  CVS Caremark in early February announced it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. The pharmacy and retail chain, which has increased its business providing medical care through clinics, said "the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent" with its purpose.  Health advocates cheered the move and said it would probably spur other retailers to do the same.  The effort was spearheaded by Eric T. Schneiderman and Michael DeWine, attorneys general of New York and Ohio, respectively.
BUSINESS
March 10, 2014 | David Lazarus
CVS Caremark Corp. could face as much as $29 million in fines for allegedly losing track of prescription painkillers at four of its California stores, from which authorities said thousands of pills may have been sold on the black market. Officials at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the California Board of Pharmacy told me Monday that more than 37,000 pills were apparently taken from CVS stores in Modesto, Fairfield, Dixon and Turlock. Meanwhile, CVS pharmacists in Southern California said they've been instructed by the drugstore chain to get their paperwork in order so that no other prescription meds are found to be missing.
OPINION
February 7, 2014
Re "CVS' halt on tobacco wins praise," Business, Feb. 6 The following sign was posted in a small drugstore: "Dear Customers, As we are in business for your health, we no longer sell cigarettes. " The year was 1964. I was 13 years old and had helped my father, Harry Labinger, hang that sign after the surgeon general reported on the dangers of smoking. My father, a smoker, also quit smoking that day, cold turkey. It was a lesson in health, ethics and courage I have never forgotten.
BUSINESS
February 5, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu, Noam N. Levey and Soumya Karlamangla
CVS Caremark Corp.'s imminent exit from the cigarette and tobacco business - an unprecedented move for a major pharmacy company - is being cheered by many medical professionals and lawmakers as a triumph of corporate responsibility over the bottom line. But industry experts say the strategy shift is less an altruistic endeavor than a savvy marketing ploy from a drugstore giant trying to promote itself as a retail health hub in an age of increasingly self-serve healthcare. "It's smart business on CVS' part," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia, a state steeped in tobacco history.
NEWS
February 5, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
It's long struck me as odd that drugstores, the places where most of us get our prescriptions filled for all manner of illnesses, also are go-to spots for cigarettes. With the latter, drugstores worsen the nation's health; with the former, they profit from it. ... Wait, maybe there is a method to that madness. Regardless, the CVS chain, owned by CVS Caremark , is doing the nation a service by ending the sale of tobacco products at its more than 7,600 retail outlets.
NATIONAL
February 5, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey and Tiffany Hsu
WASHINGTON - CVS Caremark, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, plans to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 retail stores by Oct. 1, a landmark decision that would make it the first national pharmacy company to cease tobacco sales. The move, which the company announced Wednesday, comes after years of pressure from public health advocates and medical providers, who have urged retailers to make tobacco products and advertising less available, particularly to children and teenagers.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2013 | David Lazarus
CVS Caremark insists that it's just complying with federal law by informing customers that their medical information could be "redisclosed" if they sign up for the company's prescription-drug reward program. Privacy experts, though, question whether CVS is complying with state law. "California's privacy law is stricter than federal law," said Charles Googooian, a La Canada Flintridge lawyer who specializes in medical-privacy issues. "It doesn't seem like CVS is complying with either the spirit or the letter of state law. " CVS has been scrambling to defend its ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program since I recently reported that customers are being required to give up important federal privacy safeguards in return for up to $50 a year in store credits.
BUSINESS
August 15, 2013 | David Lazarus
Since February, CVS Caremark has been pushing its pharmacists to enroll customers in a prescription-drug rewards program. The benefit to customers is the opportunity to earn up to $50 a year in store credits that can be used to buy shampoo, toothpaste or other products. The benefit to CVS is persuading pharmacy customers, through questionable means, to give up federal privacy safeguards for their medical information and permitting the company to share people's drug purchases with others.
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