Dec 10, 2019

California fines CVS $3.6M for failing to redeem recyclables

A CVS Pharmacy on a sunny day in San Ramon, California. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

California is fining CVS a record $3.6 million for failing to redeem deposits on recyclable bottles and cans in some locations, regulator CalRecycle said in a statement Tuesday.

Why it matters: CVS is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the U.S. CalRecycle said it filed the enforcement action against the firm last week after finding that 81 of CVS Pharmacy's 848 California stores hadn't redeemed the recyclables or paid an alternative $100 daily fee as required.

What they're saying: CVS said in a statement to MarketWatch the company is "committed to contributing to healthier, more sustainable communities and we are currently reviewing the state of California’s filing."

  • CalRecycle said the company is entitled to an evidentiary hearing.

Go deeper: California plays by its own rules

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U.S. alleges CVS illegally dispensed invalid prescriptions

CVS Health is under heat for "rolling over" prescriptions. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Federal prosecutors are suing CVS Health and one of its subsidiaries, alleging the companies dispensed drugs to seniors and disabled people in long-term care facilities even though the prescriptions had expired or "were otherwise invalid" — and then fraudulently billed federal health care programs for the tab.

The bottom line: A CVS spokesperson said the lawsuit was meritless, and the company intends to "vigorously defend the matter in court." But this is not the first time CVS has been enmeshed in federal allegations over shady prescription billing practices.

Keep ReadingArrowDec 17, 2019

California's new privacy law is here

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting today, Californians can find out what data certain companies have collected about them, and even ask for it to be deleted, under the new California Consumer Privacy Act.

Why it matters: The law covers residents of the most populous state, but it also has national repercussions. Some companies like Microsoft have already said they'll be extending the practices required under the law to all their customers and users. And other states tend to follow California when it introduces firm rules that don't exist on the federal level.

Go deeperArrowJan 1, 2020

UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx is buying Diplomat Pharmacy for $300 million

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx division is buying Diplomat Pharmacy for $300 million, roughly a month after Diplomat said it was running out of money and was exploring a sale.

Why it matters: Health insurance companies have tightened their oligopoly hold on specialty pharmacies.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019