West Virginia pharmacies sue CVS

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 28, 2011

WELCH – Six pharmacies have filed a legal complaint against CVS Caremark Corporation and four other companies.

West Virginia CVS Pharmacy, LLC; Dennis Canaday; Robert Taylor; Patrick W. Combs Jr.; Aaron Stone; CVS Pharmacy, Inc.; Caremark RX, LLC; and Caremark, LLC were named along with CVS Caremark Corporation as defendants.

McDowell Pharmacy, Inc.; Robert Brown; Johnston and Johnston, Inc.; Patricia Johnston; T&J Enterprises, Inc.; Joseph McGlothin; Griffith & Feil Drug, Inc.; Rickey W. Griffith; Waterfront Family Pharmacy, LLC; Karl Sommer; McCloud Family Pharmacy, Inc.; and Kevin D. McCloud all claim their customers have been told by insurance companies that they cannot be reimbursed for drugs except at CVS pharmacies, according to a complaint filed April 1 in McDowell Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants' are trying to take customers and patients from them and other West Virginia pharmacies in order to obtain a competitive advantage over the plaintiffs.

The defendants are requiring the plaintiffs' patients and customers to mail order their drugs and/or utilize defendants' pharmacies as their only choice for obtaining their drugs, "thereby eliminating West Virginia patients' ability and freedom to choose their own pharmacist and/or pharmacy," according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim CVS has caused them to lose customers and patients because of its actions.

The six pharmacies, as well as other local pharmacies, "have lost customers and patients, both past and present, and they will continue to lose patients in the future," according to the suit.

Marvin W. Masters, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs said customers of the pharmacies were getting upset because they could not go to the pharmacies they had been going to for many years.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest; that the court enter a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting CVS Caremark from requiring anyone to buy all of their prescriptions from CVS-owned retail and mail-order pharmacies; and equitable and injunctive relief. They are being represented by Masters and H. Truman Chafin.

McDowell Circuit Court: 11-C-54-S

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