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PAL member Change to Win launches “Cure CVS” campaign

Posted Dec 05 2008 2:03pm

As we reported last month, PAL coalition member Change to Win launched a campaign to challenge CVS Caremark’s [NYSE:CVS] sending of a letter to doctors of specific patients, apparently promoting Merck’s [NYSE:MRK] diabetes drug Januvia. Change to Win launched a website for the campaign, Alarmed about CVS Caremark.

This week, Change to Win announced a broader campaign targetting CVS, Cure CVS Now. On Thursday, December 4, Change to Win held press conferences around the country to announce & launch the campaign, and to issue a report on CVS’s practices, Cure CVS: From Low Quality to High Prices, CVS Is Failing Our Communities.

The press conference in Boston featured speakers from a number of community & labor organizations in the Greater Boston area, including the very young:

At the Cure CVS website describes:

CVS’s growth has come at a high price for many of the communities in which CVS operates. The company’s mission is "to improve the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access." But, according to the results of a 14-month investigation, CVS actually fails to provide equal and fair access to its services, based on analyses of several key measures. And regulators have raised concerns about quality, overcharges, privacy protection and safety related to CVS.

Explore the issues around some of those concerns:

Change to Win’s investigation and report focus primarily on the “retail,” non-pharmacy side of CVS’s business. We hope that they will also investigate practices and quality at the pharmacy counter. We here at PAL and our coalition members work on numerous aspects of how the pharmaceutical supply affects consumers, but we know that the pharmacy counter is “where the rubber meets the road.”

Since CVS is the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, the public should know how CVS is measuring up on things like pricing of drugs to the uninsured, encouraging use of generics, working conditions for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians (which of course affects consumers as well — in terms of quality of service and prevention of errors), protecting the privacy of patient prescription records, ensuring that patients understand how to take their drugs, etc.

We’ll continue to post updates on Change to Win’s campaigns concerning CVS as they become available.

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