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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.
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BUSINESS
July 22, 2011 | David Lazarus
When we last checked in with CVS, the drugstore giant acknowledged that its rewards program for customers wasn't working as intended and said a major fix was in the works. Specifically, CVS' chief marketing officer, Rob Price, told me the company was planning to do away with the practice of including cash-back rewards on people's receipts, requiring you to schlep a yard-long slip of paper around with you until your next visit to the store. Instead, Price said, CVS had "a militia of technical people" working on a system that would store cash-back rewards on people's ExtraCare cards, making it much more convenient for customers to enjoy the benefits of the loyalty program.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2010 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
The nation's largest pharmacy chain will pay a record fine for illegally selling large amounts of a key methamphetamine ingredient to criminal traffickers, a problem that prosecutors say led to a surge in production of the widely abused drug in California. CVS Pharmacy Inc. agreed to pay a $75-million fine and forfeit $2.6 million in profits on the unlawful sales of pseudoephedrine in California and Nevada in 2007 and 2008, according to federal prosecutors based in Los Angeles. The penalty is the largest for a civil violation of the Controlled Substances Act, a 40-year-old law that is more often aimed at street dealers and narcotics traffickers.
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
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.
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
February 5, 2013 | David Lazarus
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.
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.
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