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www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

CONSUMER WATCHDOG MEDIA ADVISORY

Nation's Largest Health Insurer Sued for Discriminating Against HIV/AIDS Patients

Recent Settlement in Similar Lawsuit Allows Anthem Blue Cross Patients To "Opt-Out" of Mandatory Mail-Order Rx Drug Program

Who: Harvey Rosenfield, Founder, Consumer Watchdog

Jerry Flanagan, Staff Attorney, Consumer Watchdog

Marva Brannum, HIV/AIDS Pharmacy Specialist

                        HIV Patient

When: PRESS CONFERENCE - TODAY, Tuesday, June 11, 2013 @ 11:00 am PST

Where: Consumer Watchdog

2701 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 112

Santa Monica, CA 90405

*Conference Call Dial-In Number: 800-920-7487 - Code: 65248697#

June 11, 2013 - Santa Monica, CA - In a potentially devastating move for the health and privacy of HIV/AIDS patients, United Healthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, is illegally forcing its sickest and most vulnerable members to abandon their local pharmacies in favor of United's own in-house mail-order service, according to a new statewide class action lawsuit brought by Consumer Watchdog.

The change is discriminatory under state civil rights law and threatens the health and safety of HIV/AIDS patients. Due to the complex nature of HIV/AIDS drug regimens, patients rely on their local pharmacists who, working directly with patients, monitor potentially life-threatening adverse drug interactions and side effects.

Patients' privacy is also threatened. For example, HIV/AIDS specialty medications often are delivered in refrigerated containers. Patients who live in apartment buildings or have medications delivered to their work place have expressed alarm that neighbors and co-workers, who do not know that the recipient has HIV/AIDS, would come to suspect that they are seriously ill.

As the result of a settlement in a similar lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross, patients with HIV/AIDS may now "opt-out" of its mail-order pharmacy program.

-30-

Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

Contact:
Contact: Mark Reback, (310) 392-0522 x326
Jerry Flanagan, (310) 392-2632


"Reproduced with permission - Consumer Watchdog"

Consumer Watchdog
www.consumerwatchdog.org


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