CVS Caremark has become a frequent subject of government probes
Besides recent investigations of its prescription-refill practices, CVS Caremark has paid $80 million to resolve allegations such as overbilling Medicaid.
Wednesday October 24th, 2012
Los Angeles Times

Retired social worker Nina Nestor got an all-too-familiar phone call last week: Her prescription refill was ready at her CVS store in San Clemente.

Trouble is, the 83-year-old cancer patient didn't ask for the refill or numerous others that CVS pharmacists filled this year without her permission. "The pharmacist told me after two weeks they put it back in stock and reverse the billing," Nestor said. "But I wonder about that."

Government officials share her concerns. Allegations that the pharmacy giant has been automatically refilling medications without patient consent and possibly overbilling insurers and government programs for unused medicine have sparked four government investigations in recent weeks, the most recent by the U.S. Justice Department.

CVS Caremark Corp. is no stranger to government scrutiny. In recent years, the company has paid more than $80 million to resolve allegations of overbilling Medicaid, improperly changing patients' prescriptions and, in one case, using blow dryers to peel off patients' mailing labels to resell returned medicine.

Federal authorities say they are reviewing whether the latest allegations, made by pharmacists and consumers in several states, including California, violate any terms of previous settlements with the government.

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Sharon Anglin Treat, Executive Director

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