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Consumer Watchdog: United Healthcare Sued for Discriminating Against HIV/AIDS Patients
Date:6/11/2013

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a potentially devastating move for the health and privacy of HIV/AIDS patients, United Healthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, is allegedly illegally forcing its sickest and most vulnerable members to abandon their local pharmacies in favor of United's own in-house mail-order service, according to a new statewide class action lawsuit.  As the result of a settlement in a similar lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross, patients with HIV/AIDS may now opt-out of Anthem Blue Cross's mail-order pharmacy program.

"United's decision to force their most vulnerable members into a pharmacy program not of their choosing is harmful to the very people United is supposed to be protecting," said Consumer Watchdog staff attorney Jerry Flanagan. "Patients, not insurers, should be allowed to decide how, when and where they buy their medications."

Download the lawsuit filed against United Healthcare by Consumer Watchdog and Whatley Kallas, LLP here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/united_hiv_rx_complaint_.pdf

United HIV/AIDS patients must now either transfer their prescriptions to its in-house mail-order pharmacy, OptumRx, or pay thousands of dollars each month for their medications at local pharmacies.

The change is discriminatory under state civil rights law and threatens the health and safety of HIV/AIDS patients. 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 and side effects.  Pharmacists also provide essential advice and counseling that help HIV/AIDS patients and families navigate the challenges of living with a chronic and often debilitat
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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