CVS Accused of Charging Federal Employees Extra for Generic Drugs

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Federal employees, who enjoy a variety of benefits as government workers, are not getting a deal on generic drugs from the CVS chain of pharmacies if they belong to Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plans. A review of drug pricing by a group of labor unions discovered that CVS’s pharmacy benefit program, Caremark, was charging public employees more for generic pharmaceuticals than non-government workers.

“Any person who enrolls in the generic discount program offered at CVS’s retail pharmacies can purchase hundreds of prescription drugs for significantly lower prices than CVS Caremark charges the government and federal employees in the FEP [Federal Employee Program] for those same drugs, even though CVS Caremark is paid to reduce drug costs for the government and federal employees,” according to the report, CVS’s Caremark Generic Rip Off.
CVS denied the findings of Change to Win, a labor coalition that wants to unionize the pharmacy chain’s employees. Christine Cramer, director of public relations for CVS Caremark, told Government Executive: “Change to Win has recklessly and deliberately distorted the services and savings delivered by CVS Caremark in an attempt to mislead the public and serve its own narrow agenda.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
CVS’s Caremark Generic Rip Off (Change to Win) (pdf)


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