CVS Takes Additional Steps to Ensure the Continued Integrity of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Monday, May 2, 2005

WOONSOCKET, R.I - CVS/pharmacy, America's largest retail pharmacy, announced today that it would no longer purchase pharmaceuticals from wholesalers that trade in the secondary drug market. Recently, this practice has faced increased scrutiny due to the rising concerns that wholesalers trading in the secondary market potentially provide an entry point for counterfeit or adulterated products to enter the legitimate pharmaceutical supply chain. CVS does not trade in the secondary drug market, and is now requiring its pharmaceutical wholesalers to meet this same high standard.

"We are seeing numerous state specific legislative initiatives aimed at maintaining the safety of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Many of these initiatives, while well intentioned, are not practical from an operational perspective and cannot be supported through technology currently available. Therefore, CVS is taking what we believe to be the most effective means to ensure the continued integrity and authenticity of the pharmaceutical products that CVS dispenses to its customers," stated Chris Bodine, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing at CVS.

Mr. Bodine added, "Our approach towards preserving the integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain is very straightforward. CVS will only purchase pharmaceuticals directly from the manufacturer, or from wholesalers who certify that they are not trading in the secondary drug market. If we are unable to receive those assurances, those wholesalers' contracts will not be renewed".