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CVS Caremark Corporation Settles FTC Deceptive Pricing Charges
Date:1/12/2012

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark Corporation will pay $5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented the prices of certain Medicare Part D prescription drugs – including drugs used to treat breast cancer symptoms and epilepsy – at CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.  The allegedly deceptive claims caused many seniors and disabled consumers to pay significantly more for their drugs than they expected and pushed them into the "donut hole" – a term referring to the coverage gap where none of their drug costs are reimbursed – sooner than they anticipated or planned.  The settlement will bar deceptive claims related to Medicare Part D drug prices and require CVS Caremark to pay $5 million to reimburse affected Medicare Part D consumers for the price discrepancy.

"This settlement puts money back in the pockets of older Americans who struggle to pay for their medications," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.  "With the cost of health care on the rise, the FTC is especially focused on protecting consumers from any deceptive claims that would cause them to pay more than they should."

According to the FTC complaint, CVS Caremark offers Medicare Part D prescription drug plans through subsidiaries like RxAmerica, which CVS Caremark acquired in October 2008.  Many consumers choose their Medicare Part D drug plans by looking up plan benefits and drug prices on RxAmerica's website, by going to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website and using the web-based tool Plan Finder, or by visiting other third-party websites where such information is posted. 

The FTC charged that from 2007 through at least November 2008, RxAmerica posted on its website and supplied for posting to Plan Finder and third-party websites incorrect prices for Medicare Part D prescription drugs at two pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgreens.  In some instances, the actual
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SOURCE Federal Trade Commission
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