Archive for February, 2012

Express Scripts Continues Its Assault on Community Pharmacy

By Zachary French

If the universe is a fair and just place, one day a pharmacist will land the CEO position at Express Scripts.  On that day, the practice of pharmacy will be more appropriately valued by a mega PBM CEO.  In the meantime, pharmacists and their patients will have to endure public remarks likes those recently uttered by George Paz, Express Scripts current CEO. Continue reading ‘Express Scripts Continues Its Assault on Community Pharmacy’

New Limits on Medicaid Generic Drug Reimbursement Proposed; Same Inadequate Result

By Kevin Schweers

Earlier this month the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued its fifth set of proposed Medicaid federal upper limits (FULs) for generic drug reimbursement, but it’s no better than its four predecessors for patients and their community pharmacists, NCPA recently wrote to the agency.

Continue reading ‘New Limits on Medicaid Generic Drug Reimbursement Proposed; Same Inadequate Result’

Patient, Pharmacist Complaints Illustrate Dangers of Proposed Express Scripts-Medco PBM Merger

NCPA, consumer advocates and others oppose the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) Express Scripts (ESI) and Medco for fear that it would reduce competition and patient choice while increasing prescription drug costs. Some recent complaints voiced by patients and/or their community pharmacists sum up what appear to be common problems with the PBM ‘status quo’—issues that likely wouldn’t improve and arguably would grow worse if these two entities are allowed to become the mega-PBM envisioned by the merger.

Continue reading ‘Patient, Pharmacist Complaints Illustrate Dangers of Proposed Express Scripts-Medco PBM Merger’

New Poll: Patients Want Pharmacy Choice, Restrictions on Perceived PBM Self-Dealing

By Kevin Schweers

Recent polling conducted at the request of the Georgia Pharmacy Association (GPhA) yielded two primary findings. First, patients overwhelmingly want a choice between local pharmacies and mail order facilities. Second, most patients do not know what a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) is and even more disapprove of the common practice of requiring the use of mail order for medications.

Continue reading ‘New Poll: Patients Want Pharmacy Choice, Restrictions on Perceived PBM Self-Dealing’

More Questions for Express Scripts-Medco Merger; 57th Member of Congress Weighs in

By Kevin Schweers

A remarkable 57 Members of Congress to date have expressed their bipartisan concern regarding the proposed mega-merger of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) Express Scripts and Medco. The most recent being U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), each of whom sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week on behalf of their respective constituents and local pharmacists. Continue reading ‘More Questions for Express Scripts-Medco Merger; 57th Member of Congress Weighs in’

New Survey Reflects Impact of Drug Shortages on Community Pharmacists, Patients

By Kevin Schweers

Patients and their community pharmacists are increasingly dealing with drug shortages, according to a survey recently conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). The survey also indicates that health insurance plans and/or pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) could better address problems brought on by the shortages by expanding coverage to pay for alternative therapies and adjusting reimbursement rates to keep pace with market price increases.

Continue reading ‘New Survey Reflects Impact of Drug Shortages on Community Pharmacists, Patients’

Costly “Spread Pricing” Prescription Drug Markups by Pharmacy Benefit Managers Cited by Wells Fargo Analysts

By Kevin Schweers

For years, consumer advocates, independent community pharmacists and others have voiced concerns over the cost-inflating practices of some pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Those worries were recently echoed by two health plan advisors.

Continue reading ‘Costly “Spread Pricing” Prescription Drug Markups by Pharmacy Benefit Managers Cited by Wells Fargo Analysts’


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