CVS Caremark accused of violating patient privacy

A few weeks ago we told you that the cost of diabetes care had skyrocketed in recent years. Now pharmaceutical benefits manager CVS Caremark is accused of doing their part to make the trend worse.

Labor union group Change to Win (CTW) has accused the PBM of sending letters to doctors encouraging them to prescribe a more expensive diabetes drug, Januvia, to their diabetic patients. CTW is concerned not only about the increased cost to patients, but also the potential violation of patient privacy rights. 

CVS Caremark determined which of their patients were likely diabetic based on prescription drug claims that it had handled. Merck apparently paid CVS to send out the letters, but claims that it never saw any personal patient information. CVS, meanwhile, says that they would never force changes to patients' prescriptions, but rather are just making doctors aware of the possible treatments. The final decision lies with the doctors.

To learn more about the accusations:
- read this Kaiser piece