September 12, 2013 |
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.
May 31, 2013 |
Consumers have been told by insurers again and again that if they want cheaper prices for prescription drugs, they need to order them in bulk from mail-order pharmacies. And typically, it works out that way. Sometimes, however, the prices reveal how screwy our healthcare system is - and what a challenge it can be to get a straight answer about medical costs. Jeff Zoldos, 61, had such an experience after his employer switched his coverage to Aetna at the beginning of the year.
September 5, 2008 |
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.
February 5, 2013 |
Deborah Shapiro decided a few months ago to switch her prescription drug coverage from her former employer's plan to Medicare. The Medicare literature made clear that she could save hundreds of dollars on the various drugs she and her husband required. Shapiro, 76, of Woodland Hills, studied her options carefully and decided to enroll in SilverScript, the Medicare-approved drug program run by CVS Caremark. That turned out to be not such a good decision after all. Shapiro was one of many seniors who found themselves facing inexplicably large bills that CVS refused to negotiate.
October 25, 2012 |
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.
October 23, 2012 |
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.
June 22, 2010 |
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.
August 15, 2013 |
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.
June 19, 2010 |
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.
February 5, 2014 |
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.