Are CVS and Walgreens price gouging on liquid Tamiflu? The attorney general of Connecticut’s office says the AG, Richard Blumenthal, has “received information suggesting that some pharmacies have charged substantially increased out-of-pocket prices for Tamiflu, in some cases as high as $130 or more. He has also heard that some retailers may be purchasing capsules of higher-dosage Tamiflu from distributors and remarketing it as liquid-form lower dosages at greatly inflated prices.”
The NY AG’s office says that CVS will pay an $875,000 settlement to end legal action against them over the sale of “expired products – including over-the-counter drugs, baby formula, milk, and eggs – at stores across New York State.”
Many stores offer discounts to customers who bring their own reusable bags to shop. Now, CVS is integrating their customer loyalty program with a green initiative, and plans to reward customers with 25 cents every time they use reusable bags.
Sure, not everyone has the time, inclination, or buying habits that make extreme coupon-shopping worthwhile. But everyone can benefit from learning some of the proud secrets of the coupon ninjas, such as coupon sources for products you probably already use, and combining sales, rebates, and coupons.
Reader Evan spotted this smoking deal at a Los Angeles CVS. He didn’t specify what exactly a “CVS HLTH GRO THPST” is, but at that spectacular discount, who could pass one up? I’ll tell you who — those wise consumers who hold fast until the price drops even further, to $3.19.
Punhon bought diapers at a New York City CVS and was charged 4.875 percent sales tax, which she believes shouldn’t have been applied. She writes:
CVS pharmacies apparently don’t need consent to enroll customers in ReadyFill, a program that signs customers up for the maximum allowable number of prescription refills and then robocalls them when their drugs are ready. According to a veteran pharmacist, the automatic enrollments began after CVS’ corporate office set specific performance targets that would affect bonuses for managers and pharmacists. Inside, the pharmacist tells us what ReadyFill is, how it works, and how to escape those annoying robocalls…
The NYT has the story of a woman who, more than 10 years after she tried and failed to have a baby using in vitro procedures, is still getting marketing information for all sorts of products. First it was Pampers and baby formula — then, as the baby she did not have “grew up,” so did the marketing offers. How did they get her information? They bought it.
A 14-year-old in Middleburg, Florida, went to buy some Skittles at a CVS and found a small bag of cocaine next to the candy. Police have reviewed the security tapes, but say the store’s cameras don’t cover the candy aisle. As if sugar doesn’t make them hyper enough already.
CVS asks: How about some dead trees and a bunch of ads with that purchase? Not in so many words, of course: that would actually give shoppers a choice.
Did you know that there was a fleet of CVS “Samaritan Vans” that patrol the highways looking for motorists in need of help? We didn’t, until reader Danielle let us know she’d been saved by one.
Walgreens Cancels EasySaver Program, But That Doesn't Mean You Can't Still Play "The Drugstore Game"
Mitchell wrote to us complaining about Walgreen’s decision to cancel its EasySaver Rebate program, where customers could submit multiple rebate requests at once and get the money back along with a 10% bonus applied to a gift card. Although the program is no longer with us, it’s still very possible to game the reward/discount systems at Walgreens and other chain drugstores to accumulate huge savings. Sometimes you can even make money back.
It took three calls from CVS’ automated reminder service for me to realize what was going on: CVS Pharmacy was refilling our prescriptions without our asking for them to be refilled, and then their automated dialer was calling us to notify us that we had a prescription waiting. Nobody in my family requested to have a prescription refilled, yet three times CVS called us to tell us to come and pick up our prescription.
Chris has to take the immunosuppressant drug Prograf because of a kidney transplant, and it costs nearly $300 for a one month supply. Yesterday, he found out that someone at CVS corporate has instructed his local pharmacist to start billing him directly, apparently because his secondary insurer hasn’t been paying for nearly two years.
CVS stores across the nation regularly stock expired medicine, milk, and baby formula, according to a damning union report. This isn’t the first time CVS has been caught stocking dangerous goods. Last year, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo threatened a suit after his office caught the pharmacy selling goods over a year past their expiration dates. CVS claims that, despite investing over $160 million in a “perpetual inventory management” system, it’s nearly impossible to keep expired items off the shelf because they simply have too much stuff.
Matt sent Consumerist an e-mail with the subject line, “Why is my receipt two feet long?” See, he shopped at CVS, purchased one item, used the self-checkout machine, and walked away with a receipt longer than my dog. This is a massive waste of paper, especially when you multiply it by the number of CVS stores and the number of purchases at each one, but it isn’t completely pointless.
The number of overcharging violations – defined as charging more at the register than the price in an advertisement, on a shelf sign, or on the item itself – soared to 711, from 425.