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Blue Cross To Allow HIV/AIDS Patients to "Opt-Out" of Mandatory Mail-Order Rx Drug Program, Announces Consumer Watchdog
Date:5/23/2013

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross patients with HIV/AIDS may "opt-out" of a program that would have required them to obtain their medications by mail order under a settlement announced today by Consumer Watchdog and Whatley Kallas LLC. 

The lawsuit, filed in January in San Diego Superior Court, alleged that Blue Cross's mandatory mail order program announced late last year illegally targeted HIV/AIDS patients, threatening their health and privacy.

"This settlement brings to a close a nerve-racking episode for HIV/AIDS patients who faced serious threats to their health and privacy," said Jerry Flanagan , staff attorney for Consumer Watchdog. "Today, these patients can focus on their health rather than worry about how, when or even if they'll get their medications."

Download the settlement here: http://tinyurl.com/oc2huay

Due to the complex nature of HIV/AIDS drug regimens, patients rely on their local pharmacists who, working directly with patients, monitor potentially life-threatening adverse drug interactions.  Pharmacists also provide essential advice and counseling that help HIV/AIDS patients and families navigate the challenges of living with a chronic and often debilitating condition. 

HIV/AIDS patients also expressed serious concerns about a loss of privacy associated with the proposed mail order program. For example, HIV/AIDS specialty medications often are delivered in refrigerated containers. Patients who live in apartment buildings or have medications delivered to their work place expressed concern that neighbors and co-workers who were not aware of their condition would come to suspect that they were seriously ill.  Mail-order shipment also presents the risk of lost or stolen medications.

As a result of the settlement, which was approved today by en
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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