Community pharmacists continue to report egregious cases of wasted prescription drugs fueled in part by mail order pharmacy practices, such as auto-shipping. While the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that own most mail order facilities may downplay incidences of shipped wastage, Medicare officials have voiced new concerns about this phenomenon and the experiences of local pharmacists suggest that Medicare is in the right.
On May 6, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance released a report entitled “The Expensive Truth Behind Taxpayer-Funded Mail Order Pharmaceuticals.” And NCPA continues to receive examples to add to the growing “Waste Not, Want Not” online compilation of mail order waste.
$48,000. That’s how much Medicaid reportedly wasted on mail order medications to just one HIV patient in southern California. We’re told they were auto-shipped and there was obviously inadequate interaction between the pharmacy provider and the patient, or this never would have happened.
Here’s a picture. The “sculpture” of congealed pills in the middle of the table is made out of old Norvir capsules that were not refrigerated.
In the Boston area, one pharmacist participated in the recent Take Back Day in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He reported that one patient alone turned in 15 unopened boxes of Betaseron from mail order. Estimated cost? $45,000.
Pharmacists: don’t forget to send NCPA your examples of mail order waste that patients turn into your pharmacies for disposal since the PBMs won’t take them back. Or feel free to share your stories in the comment section below.