MEDICINE has been the subject of a recent media storm with the release of a scathing new study on the drug, CVS Caremark.
The study claims CVS has been unfairly stigmatizing patients by prescribing medication they do not need and failing to provide adequate follow-up care for people who have not been properly treated.
The study, which is being presented at the Society for the Study of Addiction and Substance Abuse, is based on more than 2,000 CVS caremark prescriptions and is based in part on the use of a database of more than 16,000 patients, according to the American Medical Association.
It was based on information from the CVS Health Care Access Center, which serves as the provider of care for the roughly 1.6 million CVS patients in the United States, the study says.
It claims the network has a “history of poor record keeping, poor oversight and poor oversight.”
The network is “overwhelmingly understaffed, underpaid, understaffing, undermanaging and understaff-managed,” according to a study from the American College of Emergency Physicians, and is not adequately monitoring patients who are unable to get treatment.
The authors, led by a medical epidemiologist at Harvard University, said CVS’ practice of prescribing medication it does not know the patient needs violates its own code of medical ethics.
CVS’ network of more-than 2,500 doctors is “not adequately monitoring or tracking” those who are on care, the report says.
“The network of doctors and nurses who serve more than 1 million Cvs and CVS pharmacy associates serves many patients who do not have access to the same high-quality medical care as those who have access,” the authors write.
“These patients, in addition to their physical needs, are often referred to a physician for a second opinion on the medication they received.”
In a statement to ABC News, Cvs Caremark spokesperson Emily St. Clair said the company is “reviewing” the study and will respond to the recommendations of its independent expert panel.
The network, she said, has been transparent about its “serious problems” with its network of care, which “does not adhere to industry standards and practices.”
“We are committed to making our patients, and those we serve, safer and healthier by providing a holistic health care approach that incorporates a full range of medical, behavioral and social support services,” St. Claire said.
As part of the study, CNV Diagnostics Inc. and other research organizations examined the network of CVS pharmacies, which they called “a key source of data on care access and utilization.”
CNV Diagnostic, a company that provides a free online health and pharmacy database, found that “CVS’s pharmacy network, in which physicians and nurses administer medication and patients are asked to pay for it, is an inefficient and inefficient system of care.”
“We believe the results of this study demonstrate that CVS’s approach to managing and overseeing care for care-seeking individuals is not in keeping with industry best practices,” the researchers wrote.
In addition to the findings, the researchers say CVS is not meeting its responsibility to patients by allowing care providers to write their own prescriptions.
A CVS spokeswoman said the network is working with researchers to “determine and improve” its prescription drug program.
Researchers are recommending that CNV, CitiBank and other lenders work with health insurance companies to help pay for the costs of care in CVS hospitals and nursing homes, and that Cnv and other banks “seek to increase their own contribution to the network” and provide their own health insurance to help cover the cost of care.
Read more from ABC News: ABC News’ Anna Nemtsova, Andrew Good, Scott Bauer, Scott Gagliano and Adam Siegel contributed to this report.