CVS Pharmacy Litigation
On Friday, December 14th, CVS Pharmacy, Inc filed a lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., challenging the legality of a class-action’s lawsuit that the plaintiffs-elect filed against CVS. On December 13th, the plaintiffs-elect filed their complaint against CVS, charging that CVS violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TPCA”), and the Florida Telephone Consumer Rights Act (“FTCA”). On December 13th, the FTC filed its reply to the complaint, indicating that the complaint against CVS was “bogus and meritless.” In its answer, the Commission indicated that it will not impose the $6.00 per day fine for the plaintiffs-elect requested.
The legal complaint was captioned “Defendant’s Electronic Delivery System Practices v. plaintiffs’ Class Action Claim.” On December 13th, CVS Pharmacy, Inc., submitted a letter to the United States Attorney General stating that it would file a reply to the complaint, and that all objections to the lawsuit would be taken into consideration by the United States Attorney General, United States Courts, and National Association of Attorneys General. CVS is a defendant in a number of state court cases across the country arising from a range of alleged practices. CVS Pharmaceuticals is currently facing multiple class action lawsuits in different states over prescription drug abuse, including ADHD medications. CVS faces additional class action lawsuit over its alleged failure to provide labels that contain the terms “dangerous” or “advisories” for various drugs.
In addition to the December 14th letter from CVS Pharmaceuticals, the company is also scheduled to file its answer to a complaint by a group of independent pharmacies in Florida, which also claim that CVS did not abide by separation agreements in place between them and CVS. Separation agreements are standard contractual clauses in place between a business and a purchaser, and in this case between CVS and independent pharmacies. The plaintiffs in this case argue that the expiration of those agreements, which occurred during the time when they were licensed to sell CVS products, gives the business increased control over the pharmacies and the way in which they sell their prescriptions. In addition, in an attempt to stave off claims of fraud, CVS has signed memoranda of agreement with the Attorney General and the Florida Department of Law.
The second lawsuit against CVS, filed on December 13th, revolves around the use of automatic text messaging systems to send prescription information about patients to CVS employees. The Alleged Defendants is Largo-based J.R. Powers and Associates, Inc. (JPOA), and its owner, R.G. Powers, Jr. (referenced as “R.G.” in the complaint).
The complaint in this case, filed by JPOA, is focused on whether or not the automatic text messaging violates the provisions of the Retail Sales Settlement Agreement (SSA) or Franchise Sales Agreement (FSA). Both agreements were entered into by the defendants between themselves in response to plaintiffs’ claims of illegal price gouging by CVS. Specifically, the plaintiffs are accusing CVS of marking up the cost of prescriptions it sells in order to increase its profits; it is also alleging that it does not provide any education to its customers on the cost of prescription drugs. On the heels of that complaint comes the second lawsuit, which refers to claims of breach of fiduciary duties. According to this claim, the defendants did not promptly provide advice to J.R. Powers and Associates on the risks associated with its sales of CVS products to customers.
No matter what your position is on the overall subject of these lawsuits, it’s important to understand that there are serious concerns that have been raised about these two cases. It is possible that either party will prevail on all of their claims, but that doesn’t mean that this will be the end of the story for J.R. Powers and Associates. There is plenty of time to determine the facts of both lawsuits.