Concerns raised about CVS Caremark practices (updated)

The Associated Press reports that pharmacists and customers will be talking with trade regulators today about CVS Caremark Corp. practices. While a major issue is whether CVS Caremark is charging patients higher co-pays for not using CVS pharmacies, the AP reports suggests that there are also privacy concerns about the company’s use of patient data.

In February, CVS settled with the FTC over unrelated charges relating to patient privacy.

Update: Keeping in mind that accusations are not proof, another AP story (this one by Tom Murphy) reports that a spokesperson for the National Community Pharmacists Association claims that CVS uses pricing and patient data it collects through Caremark to market to patients who are not having their prescriptions filled at a CVS pharmacy. The spokesperson also claimed that “patients who have never shopped at CVS have suddenly started receiving marketing materials from the company and, in some cases, had prescriptions filled there without their knowledge.” (emphasis added by me). If these claims are accurate, I think that CVS Caremark is in for another investigation and possible fines.

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