Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Announces CVS Caremark To Continue Drug Discount Program It Threatened To End

August 9, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that CVS Caremark has heeded his call to continue a drug discount program the company threatened to terminate because state law required it to provide Medicaid the same discounts.

            In June, Blumenthal’s office began investigating CVS Caremark’s threat to discontinue its Health Savings Pass program in Connecticut because of the law, which mandates pharmacies charge Medicaid the lowest prices it offers consumers.

            “I am pleased that CVS Caremark heeded my call to continue this vital program providing much-needed discounts to cash-strapped consumers,” Blumenthal said. “Upon learning of CVS Caremark’s threat to terminate the Health Savings Pass program, my office began a vigorous investigation. In a letter to the head of CVS, I wrote, ‘I urge you in the strongest terms to reconsider this course of action.’ CVS Caremark’s attempt to hold its customers hostage was outrageous and unacceptable.

“The law is crystal clear and common sense: pharmacies must provide taxpayer-funded programs the same discounts they offer consumers. I commend CVS for doing the right thing, choosing cooperation over confrontation. I will continue fighting to assure compliance with all Medicaid laws, assuring that corporations fulfill funding obligations to taxpayers.”

Under the Health Savings Pass program, consumers pay $10 a year to fill a 90-day prescription of one of 400 generic drugs for $9.99 and receive other benefits. State law requires pharmacies to charge Medicaid the lowest drug price they offer consumers -- potentially saving taxpayers millions of dollars -- which the state says obligates CVS to provide the Health Savings Pass discount.

CVS disagreed that it had to provide the discount, prompting the General Assembly to approve a law in the last session clarifying the requirement. CVS responded by threatening to end its Health Savings Pass program in Connecticut.