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BUSINESS
May 31, 2013 | David Lazarus
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.
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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
May 4, 2012 | David Lazarus
Here's looking at you, Medco. Jerry Lacy played Humphrey Bogart in the 1972 film "Play It Again, Sam. " He also appeared in various soap operas. These days, though, he's playing a bit part in the disaster movie known as the U.S. healthcare system. Lacy, 76, of Calabasas, requires prescription meds to control his cholesterol and blood pressure. His wife takes pills for a thyroid condition. But now Lacy has a choice to make: Pay full price for the meds at drugstores like CVS or Walgreens, or buy from a single source - the online drugstore belonging to Medco.
BUSINESS
April 16, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
The California Public Employees' Retirement System is negotiating a lucrative pharmacy benefits management contract with Caremark Rx Inc., a company being sued for defrauding the pension fund of tens of millions of dollars. It's the second embarrassing misstep by CalPERS in the last month as the scandal-plagued agency seeks a contractor to manage the delivery of mail-order prescription drugs for about 300,000 state and local government workers, retirees and their families. CalPERS is the largest buyer of healthcare benefits after the U.S. government.
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...
BUSINESS
August 21, 2011 | By Andrew Leckey
Question: I have been encouraged and then discouraged by my shares of Rite Aid Corp. What does the future hold? Answer: It's not easy being No. 3. The nation's third-largest retail drugstore chain has less productive stores and carries more debt than industry leaders Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. Supermarket chains, discount stores and mail-order pharmacies are also providing fierce competition. The company is trying out several new store formats and increasing promotional activity to try to lure consumers worried about unemployment and high fuel costs.
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
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.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain, said it will close 76 unprofitable stores around the country in the second half of the fiscal year. The Deerfield , Ill., company has 8,210 stores nationwide, or 138 more than a year ago. Of those, 638 stores are in California. In the chain's western region, which includes a dozen states, 14 stores are set to be shuttered. But Walgreens declined to specify which stores would close, saying that it would notify affected stores in the coming months.
BUSINESS
August 19, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Longs Drug Stores Corp. recommended in a regulatory filing that shareholders approve its $2.7-billion purchase by CVS Caremark Corp. even as activist investor Bill Ackman hired a firm to explore getting a higher price.
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