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The Associated Press November 14, 2011, 10:20AM ET

CVS Caremark pares 3Q lobbying costs to $2.2M

CVS Caremark Corp. cut back on its lobbying expenditures in the third quarter, but still spent $2.2 million as it discussed issues including prescription drug costs and pharmacy benefits management laws with the federal government.

The drugstore operator and pharmacy benefits manager said its lobbying costs were down 13 percent from the third quarter of 2010, when it spent $2.6 million. It spent $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2011. CVS Caremark said its lobbying interests included health insurance regulations, laws related to mail order prescriptions and generic drugs, drug safety, and antitrust exemptions for pharmacies. It also lobbied on laws that would require pharmacy benefits management companies, or PBMs, to disclose pricing and contract information. CVS and its competitors sometimes refer to those provisions as "anti-PBM legislation."

Other lobbying concerns included corporate tax rates, the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, Medicare and Medicaid plan design and cost savings, disclosures of protected health information, and proposals that would change the delivery schedule for the U.S. Post Office. CVS Caremark and other PBMs offer consumers the option of filling 90-day prescriptions through the mail rather than at a pharmacy.

The company said it lobbied Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Woonsocket, R.I., company disclosed its activity in a form filed Oct. 20 with the House clerk's office.

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