CVS Caremark settles with FTC, HHS concerning 2006 disposal of patient information


WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has announced that it has settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights concerning disposal of patient information at its retail pharmacy stores.

CVS Caremark has denied engaging in any wrongful conduct and agreed to settle the matter in order to avoid the time and expense of further legal proceedings. CVS Caremark also stated that it is not aware of any consumer harm arising out of, or related to, the alleged incidents.

The investigation was prompted by media reports from 2006 about alleged incidents of inadvertent disposal of patient information in dumpsters at a limited number of CVS/pharmacy locations in a manner that was inconsistent with the company's waste disposal procedures.

The probe was initiated before the merger between CVS and Caremark and involved CVS/pharmacy retail locations only and did not relate to the PBM business. The company stated that it responded to these reports by promptly enhancing its retail waste disposal policies and training programs, and instituted a chain-wide shredding program for confidential waste to further guard against inadvertent disposal of confidential information in the regular trash.

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