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UnitedHealthcare Sued Over HIV Mail-Order Prescription Service

KABC TV-7 - LOS ANGELES, CA

The nation's largest health insurance carrier is being sued over its handling of prescriptions for HIV/AIDS patients.

Consumer Watchdog is suing UnitedHealthcare, claiming the insurance company is forcing HIV patients to abandon their pharmacies in favor of United's own mail-order prescription service. The group and local pharmacists say it's putting patients' health at risk.

"To put people's health in the hands of customer service representatives, who may or may not be making the minimum wage and do not have the training of any kind needed to process people's concerns and prescriptions, is a true threat to the public health and safety," said Harvey Rosenfield, founder of Consumer Watchdog.

UnitedHealthcare's legal team is reviewing the complaint.

"UnitedHealthcare strives to provide the right care at the right time for its members," UnitedHealthcare said in a statement. "The Specialty Pharmacy Program provides UnitedHealthcare members with a team of specialists including 24-hour access to specialty-trained pharmacists, nurse clinicians and patient care coordinators who work with them to help manage their conditions and overall health, while ensuring they always have continuous access to needed prescriptions."