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
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
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: Mark Reback, (310) 392-0522 x326
Jerry Flanagan, (310) 392-2632
"Reproduced with permission - Consumer Watchdog"
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