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'Poor wording' was prescription for confusion for Buffalo workers

Pharmacy benefits for 12,047 of Buffalo's active and retired employees and their covered dependents were never intended to change – and officials now say they won't – but the language in a notification letter made recipients think otherwise.

"Poor wording" on the letter from CVS to some plan members said some daily medications prescribed by a doctor for a year would be filled for 90 doses per 365 days, South Common Council Member Christopher P. Scanlon explained during a Finance Committee meeting Tuesday.

"The intention was to say (CVS) will fill the prescriptions 90 units at a time for 365 days," said Scanlon, who was contacted by some upset employees who had received the letter and thought they were being limited to 90 doses per year. Scanlon invited representatives from the Brown administration to the meeting to explain.

Parking Commissioner Kevin J. Helfer, co-chairman of Mayor Byron W. Brown's fiscal subcabinet that helped negotiate the CVS contract, said officials "will try to make sure that any communication that goes out from CVS is more clear."

CVS has been the city's pharmacy benefits manager since September.


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