Caremark Rx, the nation's second-largest pharmaceutical benefits management company, said today that Washington and 18 other states are probing its business practices.
The Nashville PBM said it received an information request, known as a civil investigative demand, on Thursday from Washington state's attorney general. The administrative subpoena concerns consumer protection statutes and business practices of Caremark and its recently acquired AdvancePCS unit, the company said.
State officials in Washington told Caremark that 18 other states would follow with their own investigative demands, the company said.
Company spokesman Gerard Carney said the administrative subpoenas "appear to request information from us relating to issues that are similar to those addressed in other recent industry settlements."
In April, Medco, the nation's largest PBM, announced a $29 million settlement with attorneys general in 20 states over charges it pressured doctors to switch patients' medicines to ones bringing the company more revenue.
Under the settlement, Medco agreed to change business practices and, when changing patients' prescriptions, to inform them and their health plans about any rebates involved and about details such as how a switch would affect their costs.
In a news release, Caremark said it believes its business practices "comply in all material respects with applicable laws and regulations. The company intends to fully cooperate with the requests for information."
The Caremark investigation comes as the company continues to deal with a separate controversy involving two Florida pharmacists who worked in its mail-order unit.