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BUSINESS
July 22, 2013 | David Lazarus
Susan Segal normally spends about $30 for a three-month supply of a thyroid medication from CVS Caremark's mail-order pharmacy. Recently, though, CVS sent her a different thyroid drug, which cost $23 more - a 77% increase. Segal, 56, called to complain. A CVS service rep told the Irvine resident that the pharmacy wasn't trying to pull a fast one. Have a consumer question? Ask Laz The rep explained that Segal's usual med, Levoxyl, couldn't be obtained, so CVS called her doctor and received permission to send her a similar drug, Synthroid, instead.
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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
October 24, 2013 | David Lazarus
You really should get a flu shot. But if you get one at a drugstore, you might find yourself wondering whether they're playing fast and loose with people's insurance coverage so the company can score some extra cash. Paul Rubenstein, 39, has faced such a possibility for two years. The Mar Vista resident is insured by Anthem Blue Cross. His wife is insured by Health Net. Last year, they went to a local CVS store for flu shots. The pharmacy worker ran both their insurance cards through the computer and said that neither insurer was covering vaccinations.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2012 | David Lazarus
Ivor Davis received a call recently from the Target pharmacy near his home in Ventura. He was informed he could pick up a refill of medication for his wife, Sally, who is battling pancreatic cancer. Davis, 74, told me he and his wife like to be flexible in deciding where and when they purchase her drugs. Sometimes they refill prescriptions during visits to Seattle. Sometimes Davis crosses the border into Canada, where the usual $166 cost for Sally's pills can be cut in half. They never ask any pharmacy to refill an order until they're ready, which is why Target's call came as such a surprise.
BUSINESS
September 5, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Some Longs Drug Stores Corp. shareholders said they would oppose CVS Caremark Corp.'s $2.7-billion offer to buy the company if Longs didn't tell them more about the value of its real estate. CVS Caremark agreed to pay $71.50 a share for Longs to gain more than 500 stores. CVS valued Longs' real estate at about $1 billion. But CtW Investment Group said the price was too low by as much as $260 million, and two major Longs shareholders said they wanted to know more about how the real estate was valued.
BUSINESS
October 25, 2012 | David Lazarus
Chris Cullum normally gets his prescriptions filled at a CVS Caremark store in San Diego. But, while traveling, he placed orders at a CVS branch in Arizona this year and at a branch in Illinois last year. In both cases, Cullum said, he subsequently received calls from the stores in those states letting him know that refills were ready. Two things make this noteworthy. One: Cullum, like other CVS customers who have related similar experiences, never signed up for the pharmacy's automatic-refill program, ReadyFill.
BUSINESS
October 19, 2012 | David Lazarus
The U.S. Justice Department's civil fraud division is investigating claims that CVS Caremark wrongly refilled prescriptions and billed insurers without the knowledge or the approval of its customers. The probe will focus primarily on allegations of Medicare fraud, said Shana T. Mintz, an assistant U.S. attorney in the division's Los Angeles office. The investigation also will look into whether CVS violated a $17.5-million settlement reached with federal authorities last year over allegedly falsified claims to Medicaid programs in California and nine other states, Mintz said.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2010 | DAVID LAZARUS
Rewards programs can be a good thing. They build loyalty and provide a tangible benefit to being a steady customer. That is, if the reward is actually a reward, and not some corporate ploy that goes out of its way to prevent customers from enjoying the perk they've been promised. I'm thinking of the cash-back program at CVS Caremark, one of the country's leading drugstore chains. At first glance, CVS' Extra Bucks system seems pretty appealing. Flash your CVS ExtraCare card at the cash register and you'll earn 2% back on things you buy. You'll also earn one Extra Buck for every two prescriptions you fill.
BUSINESS
June 19, 2010 | By Michael Oneal
It turns out Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. need each other after all. After months of contract negotiations, punctuated by a two-week public brawl, the two drugstore giants announced Friday that they had settled a dispute that threatened to prevent thousands of people from filling their prescriptions at Walgreens stores. At issue: the way Caremark, one of the nation's biggest prescription-plan operators, prices discounts for prescriptions filled at Walgreens pharmacies, which often compete fiercely with nearby CVS stores nationwide.
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.
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