Documents: CVS Pharmacists Pressured To Put Customers In Auto-Refill Program

ReadyFill is the key…

CVS has repeatedly denied accusations that the drugstore chain pressures its pharmacists into refilling customers’ prescriptions without their consent, but new documents show that the company expects pharmacists to push pharmacy customers into ReadyFill, its auto-refill program.

In a document leaked to the L.A. Times’ David Lazarus, who has been on this story like a lab coat on a pharmacy technician, the company compares the thought processes of a “High Performing” employee with that of an “Average Performer.”

A High Performer thinks things like “I make ReadyFill a part of every consultation I do,” and “We discuss ReadyFill with our customers at every chance we get.”

Then there is this gem: “ReadyFill is the key to my store’s success. If we get ReadyFill right, everything else will follow.”

And for the Average Performer, the thought process is “We automatically enroll patients in ReadyFill for maintenance meds. It helps our score,” and “We’re constantly returning ReadyFill scripts to stock.”

Notice that CVS didn’t call these the thoughts of a “bad” employee, but an “Average Performer,” which to us would imply that this is the mindset of most of their pharmacy staff.

“We have to pretend that we have no idea how it happened,” one CVS pharmacist tells Lazarus regarding patients who complain about unasked-for refills. “Everyone involved knows what this really is: a way to fill more scripts and make more money for the company.”

We recently asked Consumerist readers to share their stories about having prescriptions refilled without their consent, or about being enrolled in auto-refill programs without permission and we’ve heard from dozens of you in just the last few days.

A quick scan of the e-mails we’ve received so far shows that this problem is not solely a CVS issue, and it appears to be nationwide.

If you have a story to contribute about your pharmacy refilling your prescription without asking, let us know at tips@consumerist.com with “Pharmacy Refills” in the subject line. We’ll be sorting through all of your e-mails and writing something early next week.