May 4, 2012 |
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.
April 3, 2012 |
Most people might not know what a pharmacy benefit manager is. That's unfortunate, because these companies have a lot of clout over people's healthcare. The topic arises because the Federal Trade Commission has approved the $29-billion merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, creating the country's biggest pharmacy benefit manager. Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, oversee the drug plans for employers and insurers. They dicker with drugstores over how much prescription drugs should cost.
January 12, 2012 |
Here's your three-times-a-lady Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: -- A little fungicide with your Coke? Coca-Cola says it has alerted the Food and Drug Administration after discovering that Brazilian growers had sprayed their orange trees with a fungicide that is not approved for use in the U.S. Most orange juice products made by Coke and other companies contain a blend of juice from different sources, including...
December 17, 2011 |
Pharmacy and prescription drug management company CVS Caremark Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $20 million to settle three lawsuits involving allegations that it defrauded pension systems in three states, including California's giant pension fund, attorneys said. The whistle-blower lawsuits, filed by two former CVS Caremark pharmacists, accused the company of reselling returned drugs, changing prescription orders to make them more expensive and submitting false reports about how long it took to fill prescriptions.
August 21, 2011 |
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.
August 12, 2011 |
Apparently it's about time someone asked CVS customers what they thought of the drugstore chain's cash-back rewards program, which requires people to schlep around their receipt until their next visit to the store. Turns out an overwhelming majority of CVS customers want to do away with the receipts and instead have their rewards automatically stored on their CVS cards. Not that CVS cares. The company promises its 67 million cardholders that they'll get 2% back on purchases — but only if they remember to bring their last receipt with them when they shop and redeem their "Extra Bucks" at the register.
July 22, 2011 |
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.
June 21, 2011 |
Reporting from Sacramento The California Public Employees' Retirement System signed a $575 million-a-year contract with CVS Caremark Corp. to provide prescription drug benefits to 346,000 members. The contract, announced Monday, came more than two weeks after Caremark settled a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging fraud in earlier contracts involving CalPERS and pension funds in other states. CalPERS negotiated the new three-year agreement with Caremark after the fund's board canceled negotiations in March with a competitor, Medco Health Solutions Inc. An internal investigation revealed that Medco allegedly had paid more than $4 million in bribes to win an earlier contract in 2006.
April 16, 2011 |
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.
January 6, 2011 |
Those prescription drugs can be so gosh-darn expensive, but if you don’t buy them, you’ll just wind up paying more in medical bills down the road. So says a new study published Thursday in the journal Health Affairs. It says that people with four common chronic illnesses saved themselves – and the healthcare system – big bucks by taking their meds instead of skipping them. The study was funded by … CVS Caremark, which bills itself as “the largest pharmacy healthcare provider in the United States.