retail

CVS spent $2.3M on lobbying federal government in 2Q

BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/DAVID PAUL MORRIS
CVS Caremark Corp. signage is seen on the facade of a store in San Francisco.
Posted 10/3/11

WOONSOCKET – CVS Caremark Corp. spent $2.29 million in the second quarter on lobbying the federal government on issues related to its business model and health care reform, The Associated Press reported late Friday.

Its spending was slightly up from the $2.25 million it spent during the second quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.

In a report filed July 20, CVS said its lobbying interests include antitrust laws related to pharmacies, health care competition and its business model.

Critics of the CVS combination of a large drugstore chain and a pharmacy benefits management company say that it creates a conflict of interest and reduces choice for consumers.

It also lobbied on portions of the 2010 health care reform law, specifically on medical spending and reporting requirements as well as Medicare Part D rules and law that would require pharmacy benefits management companies to disclose pricing and contract information.

Other topics included: the inadvertent disclosure of personal health information, drug supply chain issues, debit card rules, payments to government vendors and reimbursement rules for medical equipment.

The Woonsocket-based company lobbied Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CVS has more than 7,200 drugstores; Caremark handles hundreds of millions of prescriptions annually, the AP said.

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