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CVS Settles for $658,500 for Improper Drug Consultations

(California is Back.  The left coast is very busy.  First Oregon, then Washington and now California.. Jay Pee)  This is from Paula, The Whistleblowers wife.

Bonnie Dumanis: “Pharmacist consultations prevent drug errors and ensure that patients have the correct prescription for their condition.”

Posted by Steven Bartholow

Prosecutors Monday announced a $658,500 settlement in a lawsuit alleging that CVS pharmacists throughout the state frequently failed to comply with rules requiring personal pharmacist consultations when customers receive new prescriptions or new dosages of existing prescriptions.

San Diego, Riverside and Alameda counties will share the proceeds of the settlement, which resolves a civil complaint that was filed in San Diego Superior Court in 2012 under California’s unfair competition laws.

“Pharmacist consultations prevent drug errors and ensure that patients have the correct prescription for their condition,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Without these checks and balances, patient health can be put at serious risk.”

Working with the Board of Pharmacy, prosecutors in the three counties conducted an undercover investigation of the consultation practices of a number of the major pharmacy chains in California.

Regulations enforced by the board require that a pharmacist provide a personal consultation to a patient receiving a prescription drug not previously dispensed to that patient, or a prescription drug in a different dosage form or strength, or on the patient’s request.

Uninformed or improper use of  prescription drugs harms an estimated 150,000 Californians each year and contributes to an estimated $1.7 billion in economic losses throughout the state.

California is on a roll.  First- Provider Status for All Pharmacists and now “Your pharmacists  better counsel or your corporate ass is grass.”  Pay attention, California Pharmacists, this fine opens the door for you.  ”Hey, Mister District Manager Man, I gotta counsel.  If I don’t, CVS will be fined again and, next time, maybe it’ll be my ass that’s grass.”

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Drugmonkey  •  Dec 25, 2013 @10:42 pm

    For what it’s worth, the fine for an individual pharmacist for failure to counsel in California is $500, or about 8 hours worth of pay. This fine for CVS is about 3 hours worth of their revenue. Read into that what you will.

  2. bcmigal  •  Dec 26, 2013 @7:48 pm

    This counseling requirement is nothing new. I have worked for several chains in California and in each of them, the techs were told to say:” the pharmacist will be here to tell you about the medication.” DM is right, that is an itty bitty fine for CVS. Those pharmacists will be out in the non existent job market while CVS and its metrics just keep rolling along.

  3. Crazy RxMan  •  Dec 27, 2013 @12:38 pm

    If every pharmacist counseled every patient the way we’re supposed to, we wouldn’t be able to keep up with the prescription count. Maybe we need more help?

  4. Normpel@comcast.net  •  Dec 27, 2013 @2:29 pm

    You would need a minimum of 2 pharmacists on duty at all times and you would need to double the cost of every Rx. The sad fact is that most patients just want their meds and want to walk out as soon as they can. Only a very small number of them care about counseling at that point. It’s all about personal time–getting in and out.

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