OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Many enrolled in the CVS/Caremark prescription program in Oklahoma are speaking out after the pharmacy benefit manager recently sent out letters concerning its plans to discontinue 90-day supplies of medications.
“CVS is putting the screws to us, only allowing us 30 days unless we go to mail order and plus they have increased…all the prices are more than double [for us],” said Robert Pearce in an interview Tuesday with KFOR.
Pearce said he and his wife rely on several medications monthly, and while they are transitioning to mail orders for the prescriptions, the added time and expense is burdensome.
“It’s just Oklahoma [and] it ticks me off. I told the CVS people that I’m going to do everything I can at the end of this year to not use them once my benefits lapse,” he added.
The news follows a statement from the Oklahoma Insurance Department in February, addressing what it called “troubling inaccuracies” pertaining to HB2632, or the Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act.
Some previous Caremark communication indicated 90-day prescriptions were no longer allowed by state law.
However, according to Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner, state law only prohibited steering patients to mail order:
“The Oklahoma Insurance Department is receiving an increasing number of complaints about CVS/Caremark’s recent decision to no longer offer 90-day prescriptions for many of their large client employers.We understand that Oklahoma law does not mandate the filling of 90-day prescriptions, but CVS/Caremark has made a quick and impactful business decision that will not be fixed until one year from now. This is unacceptable, and I implore CVS/Caremark to address the contractual and technical issues as quickly as possible in order to better serve Oklahoma consumers. I also encourage Oklahoma employers impacted by this decision to voice their concerns to CVS/Caremark.”Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready
“At some point CVS needs to provide some answers to their customers about why they’ve made the decision to basically limit access for folks to be able to fill their prescriptions,” said Steve Carter, who also contacted KFOR about the issue.
“They’ve just created some what I believe [are] some unnecessary hurdles that impact the out of pocket expense that folks have [and] I just have some real concerns about what type of impact that’s going to have on us,” he added.
In a statement to News 4 Tuesday, CVS/Caremark said it is working on a long-term solution to address the issue:
“The Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) recently asserted authority over prescription benefits for certain multistate or national employers headquartered outside the state of Oklahoma. Only Oklahoma consumers who are members of those out-of-state plans are impacted by the recent changes eliminating 90-day prescriptions. We discussed with the OID the numerous considerations in changing uniform benefit design to apply only to members in a single state. We implemented interim measures and are working to develop a long-term solution with the input of our clients. We have resources available to ensure that impacted plan members are able to access their medications without interruption.”CVS/Caremark