(Curtis Perry)

Kmart Pays $1.4 Million To Settle Accusations Of Illegal Coupon Acceptance, Prescription Incentives

In most of the country, pharmacies can offer rewards points, coupons, or other inducements to get you to switch prescriptions to them. Not only is this illegal in certain states, it’s also illegal to offer these incentives to customers with health insurance through Medicaid. Kmart has settled allegations from a whistleblower that it did exactly that for customers with Medicaid, and accepted co-pay coupons for brand-name drugs for them. [More]

(Adam Gerard)

Prescription Price Sticker Shock Is Now A Common Consumer Ailment

Maybe this has happened to you: you’re at the pharmacy, picking up a refill of a prescription that you or a family member have been taking for a long time. It’s a routine errand until you get sticker shock: the copay has suddenly shot up. You didn’t change insurance, it’s still the same year, and the drug is the same: how can a price change so dramatically so quickly? [More]

(Mike Mozart)

CVS Buying Target’s Pharmacy Business For $1.9 Billion

If you’re a Target shopper who picks up your prescription refills at the same time you get your groceries, towels, toilet paper, and whatever else you buy at the big-box retailer, your Target’s in-store pharmacy could soon be run by CVS. [More]

Why Does A Tube Of Cold Sore Cream Cost $2,500?

Why Does A Tube Of Cold Sore Cream Cost $2,500?

In Canada, you can buy a tube of brand-name prescription cold sore cream Zovirax for around $50. Its generic equivalent (acyclovir) is half that price. And even here in the states you can find generics acyclovir pills and ointments for a reasonable price, so why does what is effectively the same product sell for more than $2,500 in the U.S.? [More]

From the federal indictment.

Pharmacy Linked To Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Allegedly Faked Prescriptions For “Filet O’Fish,” “Bud Weiser”

As part of a federal indictment against a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people, officials allege that employees of the company used some pretty suspicious names on faked prescriptions, including things like menu items — “Filet O’fish” and “Coco Puff” — as well as famous er, names like “Bud Weiser” and his pal, “Raymond Rollingrock.” [More]

Rite Aid Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit Claiming It Used Gift Cards To Lure Pharmacy Customers

(Pedestrian Photographer)

The feds say they’ve settled a lawsuit against pharmacy chain Rite Aid filed by a whistleblower who claimed the company used gift cards to lure Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to switch their prescriptIons in a bid to gain business. [More]

Walgreens Gives Teen Wrong Prescription, Shrugs

Walgreens Gives Teen Wrong Prescription, Shrugs

It’s bad enough that a Michigan Walgreens pharmacy gave a 14-year-old customer someone else’s prescription, but the teen’s family says the drugstore chain made the situation much worse by demanding that the family go out of pocket to finally obtain the correct drug. [More]

(Nate Grigg)

CVS Collects Erroneous Birth Control Copays, Will Issue Refunds

Pharmacy chain CVS charged about 11,000 customers who have health insurance small copays when they picked up some recent prescriptions. What’s wrong with that? Those prescriptions were for generic contraceptive pills, which should be dispensed with no copay at all under the federal Affordable Care Act. Now those customers are due a refund. [More]

Why Can’t You Get Medical Marijuana At CVS Or Walgreens?

Why Can’t You Get Medical Marijuana At CVS Or Walgreens?

Even though marijuana has been legalized by Colorado and Washington, and nearly two dozen states have laws protecting medical use of marijuana, you won’t be seeing it made available at your local pharmacy unless the federal government decides to legalize it. [More]

Does Walgreens’ New Up-Close-And-Personal Pharmacy Approach Violate Privacy Laws?

Does Walgreens’ New Up-Close-And-Personal Pharmacy Approach Violate Privacy Laws?

In an effort intended to provide pharmacy customers a less impersonal experience, some Walgreens stores have been redesigned to get pharmacists out in the store, consulting with customers at desks, without the traditional counter (and sometimes panes of bulletproof glass) between them. But the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services wants to see if this new “Well Experience” model is unintentionally revealing customers’ private medical information. [More]

28 Attorneys General Urge Major Retailers To Discontinue Tobacco Sales

28 Attorneys General Urge Major Retailers To Discontinue Tobacco Sales

Is it a conflict of interest when stores that sell products to improve your health also make billions every year selling cigarettes? More than two dozen Attorneys General think so, and are lighting a fire under the nation’s largest drugstore and supermarket chains to get them to quit. [More]

CVS Being Investigated After 37,000 Pain Pills Go Missing

CVS Being Investigated After 37,000 Pain Pills Go Missing

The shelves of pharmacies are full of pills, tablets, capsules, and liquids that are worth a lot of money, especially to addicts. So when more than 37,000 prescription pain pills vanish from handful of CVS stores, the authorities get involved. [More]

(RedandJonny)

5 Things You Shouldn’t Buy At The Drugstore

Sure, you’ll still be able to buy cigarettes at Walgreens for the foreseeable future, but what else should you pick up while you’re there to get your smokes? Nothing, apparently. [More]

(frankieleon)

Get A Flu Shot, Get A Giant Grocery Or Drug Coupon

Retail pharmacies really, really want customers to get their flu shots there this year. How badly? They’re offering giant coupons to customers who get their shots there, ranging from 10% at grocer Safeway to 20% at pharmacy chain CVS. [More]

(Spidra Webster)

Why Does Anyone Ever Buy Brand-Name Painkillers?

For everyday over-the-counter drugs like painkillers or allergy medicine, do you pick up the brand name, or a generic? Even if the inactive ingredients and binders are slightly different, the brand-name and store-brand meds that sit side-by-side on the shelf should have the same effects. One costs a lot less. So why does anyone buy name-brand over-the-counter drugs? [More]

(Eric Spiegel)

NYPD Planning To Bait Prescription Pill Thieves With Bottles Containing GPS Trackers

The New York City Police Department is planning a classic bait and switch in an attempt to nab thieves seeking painkillers and other addictive prescription medicines. In this plan, the bait is the pill bottle but the switch comes when lo and behold, those aren’t the pills you’re looking for — and the bottle is outfitted with a GPS tracker.  [More]

(Meg Marco)

Meijer Customer Service Saves The Day After Surgery

Amanda was exhausted, after dealing with her mother’s post-surgery care and bringing her home from the hospital. Neither of them anticipated that the biggest problem would that day be with getting her post-discharge prescriptions filled. One of the medications was more obscure than she had imagined. They visited three different pharmacies in their rural area and were ready to give up hope when they finally visited the pharmacy at the local Meijer. They had the drugs! For $250! Oh, no. [More]

(Maulleigh)

Target Says It Will No Longer Pressure Pharmacists To Push Auto-Refill Program

Last month, we wrote about how a number of pharmacists at chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Target were being pressured by management to put customers into auto-refill programs, which led to some customers being enrolled in the program without their approval. Now Target says that it no longer measures pharmacists’ success by how many people they place into auto-refills. [More]