Suit Claims Blue Cross Discriminates in HIV Cases

 Blue Cross of California is being sued over a new program that bars AIDS patients from using local pharmacies to get their medications.

The group Consumer Watchdog sued the insurer last week in San Diego on behalf of a patient, claiming the program discriminates against those with HIV.

The program, which takes effect in March, requires patients using certain drugs to buy them from a mail order pharmacy chosen by Blue Cross. HIV patients are among those affected.

People with many other conditions will still be able to buy their drugs locally.

Anthem Blue Cross spokesman Darrel Ng tells City News Service that regulators are aware of the program. He says it doesn't discriminate by disease but rather applies to hundreds of specialty drugs.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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