Then there’s the issue of drugstores pushing prescription refills on people who might not need them. Is this a good service because it reminds people to keep taking meds that a doctor has prescribed, or is it another case of healthcare giants unnecessarily adding to the nation’s soaring medical bill? Are there any laws or regulations about this?
Does CVS Caremark (the company’s formal name) now do this kind of robo-selling (or robo-reminding, depending on your point of view) across the country? And, since CVS Caremark is also paid by insurance companies to administer insurance claims for prescription drugs (that’s the Caremark half of the company), is this outbound sales effort a conflict, since the insurance companies would obviously rather that people not refill prescriptions that they then have to pay for? What do the insurance companies think about that? And what does CVS Caremark CEO Larry Merlo have to say about all this?
3. Walmart and guns:
A recent editorial in The New York Times mentioned that the Stand Your Ground laws, which have been promoted by the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun-rights groups and have become controversial in the wake of the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin, have been “fostered by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, with heavyweight business supporters like Walmart, a major gun retailer.”
In recent years Walmart has softened a hard-right image resulting from its strong anti-union stance by becoming a leader in corporate environmental issues. Is the $400 billion retailer also a force behind the gun-rights movement and laws that have set off a new polarizing fight in the wake of the Florida shooting? Do its activities and lobbying extend beyond support for the American Legislative Exchange Council? Does it lobby and spend campaign contribution money on gun issues in Washington and in various state capitals? And how closely, if at all, does Walmart work with the NRA? After all, at least one of the NRA’s ongoing fights—preventing any limits on sales at private gun shows—must conflict with Walmart’s obvious interest in confining sales of anything to established retailers.