231-922-9460 | Google +

Monday, June 14, 2010

CVS Prescriptions Blowing in the Wind

NY Daily News

It's an Rx for carelessness.

A pile of prescriptions - which included patients' names and personal information - was found tossed on E. 18th St. near a CVS pharmacy's back door Friday.

"I'm just so angry. I'm going to blow my stack!" said Gramercy resident and CVS customer Shirley Okin.

She was shocked to learn that a prescription for fioricet with codeine that she filled back in 2002 was just blowing around on a sidewalk outside of the pharmacy at 215 Park Ave.

The scrips strewn on the sidewalk yesterday were all from 2002, including one for painkiller Hydrocodone filled for an Astoria, Queens, woman and Valium generic Diazepam for a Kips Bay resident.

Marcia Robinson, 73, from Stuyvesant Town, was fuming after hearing that one of her old prescriptions was lying on the ground for anyone to pick up.

"Even though the prescription is no good, it bothers me that it would be out on the street," added Robinson, who said she always fills her prescriptions at CVS, but not at the Park Ave. location. "To say I'm furious would be putting it mildly," she said.

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis said that the company has strict waste disposal policies, including separating all trash that may include patient or private information and shredding it.

"We will investigate this matter to determine whether our procedures were followed properly at our Park Ave. location," DeAngelis said.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, it is illegal to disclose confidential medical information.

In 2009, parent company CVS Caremark paid a $2.25 million settlement after patients' prescription records were found in Dumpsters outside Indiana stores.

"I thought they would destroy these things," Okin said. "Especially since no one wants strangers to find out our personal information. These days, we need to protect that."