Ninth Circuit Reinstates HIV Discrimination Claims Towards CVS Prescription Drug Mail-Order Program, Says Client Watchdog
THE ANGEL, December 9, 2020 / PRNewswire / – Today the 9th Appeals Court overturned a lower court ruling that five HIV patients owned by “John Doe” could bring CVS Caremark discriminatory lawsuits for asking HIV and AIDS patients to mail their drugs or drop to get shipping to a CVS store.
Download the statement on the ninth circuit here: https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/2020-12-09%20Opinion%20and%20Order.pdf
The ninth instance appeals court overturned the lower court’s ruling that plaintiffs had failed to adequately assert a disability discrimination claim and found that plaintiffs were correct in alleging that the CVS mail order program was in violation of the anti-discrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act (” ACA “). ).
“This decision is a major victory for HIV patients who want to defend their health rights and receive their life-sustaining drugs in medically appropriate ways,” he said Jerry Flanagan from Consumer Watchdog.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from Consumer Watchdog and Whatley Kallas, LLP.
The Ninth Circle found that plaintiffs’ complaint that the CVS mail order program was duly alleged resulted in a “loss of meaningful access” to the broader benefit of prescription drugs as the program “causes them significant difficulty and privacy” . The ruling refers the case to the US District Court for the Northern District of California in the San Francisco for further action.
Plaintiffs filed the case anonymously because, despite extraordinary advances in medical treatment, HIV remains one of the most stigmatized diseases in our country’s history and many patients still live in the shadow of the AIDS epidemic.
As the Ninth Circle found, the complaint alleged how, until recently, HIV patients “could fill out their prescriptions at community pharmacies, where they could consult knowledgeable pharmacists familiar with their personal medical history and make adjustments to their medication registers to avoid danger. ” Drug interactions or remedial action for possible side effects. [The John] Claims these services are vital for HIV / AIDS patients, among others, who must follow a consistent medication regimen to manage their chronic illness. “
Shipping delivery of HIV / AIDS medicines is not a viable option for many patients and can have a significant privacy impact, especially for those who have failed to disclose their health to employers, co-workers, friends, and family members.
Using mail order to homes and workplaces or CVS stores also carries the real risk of delayed, lost, or stolen shipments, which are serious for many patients who must strictly adhere to their medication regimes or are exposed to serious illness or death Has consequences.
The Ninth Circuit found that Section 1557 of the ACA, which contains four civil rights laws, gives patients the opportunity to contest practices that prevent them from having meaningful access to medical services.
The ninth circuit found:
“Indeed, [the John] Has sufficiently alleged that they have been denied meaningful access to their prescription medicine, including medically appropriate dispensing of their drugs and access to necessary advice. Due to the structure of the program in relation to HIV / AIDS drugs [the John] Claims that they cannot receive effective treatment under the program because of their disability. “
As the ninth circuit closed, “[the John] Claims that the structure and implementation of the program discriminates against them based on their disability by preventing HIV / AIDS patients from receiving the same quality of pharmaceutical care that non-HIV / AIDS patients can get by completing non-specialized prescriptions, thereby denying them meaningful access to their prescription drug. These allegations are sufficient to make a discrimination claim against an ACA disability. “
The opinion was drawn up by the judge of the Ninth Circle Milan D. Smith, Jr. The other two judges who were represented on the three-judge panel were the Honorable Andrew D. Hurwitz and the Honorable Timothy Burgess (seated by designation).
Consumer Watchdog is a non-partisan consumer protection organization. Visit us on the Internet at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org
The lawyers of Whatley Kallas, LLP have been recognized repeatedly in legal publications such as the National Law Journal and American Lawyer by their peers and organized medicine executives for their work in the health care sector. For more information, please visit: http://www.whatleykallas.com/
SOURCE consumer watchdog