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CVS and state of Connecticut in dispute over drug discounts


Hartford, Conn. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday that he has demanded documents from Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Caremark in a dispute over CVS’s potential ending of a consumer discount drug program in the state.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell charged Blumenthal with the investigation, suggesting it could be against state law. Blumenthal and the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection are asking CVS to explain why providing the discounts to the state Medicaid program would result in an end to its Health Savings Pass program in Connecticut.

In a letter to CVS Caremark CEO Thomas M. Ryan, Blumenthal said state officials are concerned that CVS "singled out" Connecticut for elimination of the drug discount program.

State law enacted this year requires pharmacies to charge Medicaid the lowest drug price offered to consumers and links those prices to savings and discount programs such as the CVS Health Savings Pass program.

"The new law is simply an exercise in fairness, making sure that patients on the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program get the same relief from high drug prices that other customers receive," Rell said.

With 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 may receive other benefits, Blumenthal said.

In a subpoena to CVS, Blumenthal demanded that the company provide by July 9 documents backing its statement that extending Health Savings Pass discounts to the state Medicaid program makes the plan "economically unfeasible" in Connecticut.

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