U.S. asks CVS about its prescription discount plan

Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:13pm EST

Feb 17 (Reuters) - CVS Caremark Corp said it received requests for information about a prescription drug discount program it runs for uninsured or under-insured individuals from both the U.S. government and the Texas Attorney General.

In January, CVS received a subpoena from the U.S. Office of Inspector General requesting information about the company's Health Savings Pass program, CVS said in its 10k filing on Friday.

The company, which runs the CVS pharmacy chain and the CVS Caremark pharmacy benefits management service, said the request was connected to an investigation of possible false or otherwise improper claims for payment involving Health & Human Services programs.

In February, CVS received a civil investigative demand from Texas' Office of the Attorney General. That office requested a copy of information from the OIG subpoena and other information related to prescription drug claims submitted by CVS pharmacies to Texas Medicaid for reimbursement, the company said.

CVS said it would respond to the requests for information and cooperate with both investigations.

CVS markets its Health Savings Pass, which has a $15 annual fee, to people who do not have prescription drug coverage and to those who have limited coverage.

The Health Savings Pass lets patients fill 90-day prescriptions for 400 generic drugs for $11.99. Participants also get discounts such as 10 percent off visits at the CVS in-store health clinic, MinuteClinic and 10 percent off an annual flu shot.

The announcement comes about a month after CVS agreed to pay $5 million to settle charges of inaccurate pricing of some drugs for the elderly and disabled, ending a wide-ranging, multi-year probe into its business practices.

Shares of CVS closed down 28 cents at $44.27, after reaching a new high of $45 earlier in the day.

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