Archive for the 'pharmacy benefit managers' Category

Health Economist Shreds PBMs’ Claim of Large Cost Increase from “Any Willing Pharmacy” Medicare Proposal

By Kevin Schweers

Claims by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that a massive cost increase would result from legislation giving Medicare seniors in medically underserved areas more convenient access to discounted or “preferred” copays are “theoretically baseless,” a noted health care economist and antitrust expert argues in a new analysis.

Continue reading ‘Health Economist Shreds PBMs’ Claim of Large Cost Increase from “Any Willing Pharmacy” Medicare Proposal’

Grassroots Efforts Yield Successes in 2013: Keep it up in 2014

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Grassroots and Public Affairs

From a grassroots perspective, 2013 should be a year that is long remembered by pharmacists. Due to pharmacist engagement, independent community pharmacists achieved pro-patient, pro-pharmacist successes at both the state and federal level and continued to build relationships with legislators through hosting pharmacy visits. Continue reading ‘Grassroots Efforts Yield Successes in 2013: Keep it up in 2014′

NASCAR Fans Hear About PBM Abuses

NCPA ran a public service announcement (PSA) at NASCAR’s Homestead Miami Speedway during the weekend of Nov. 15-17, and we’ve posted here and on You Tube a short video summary from the event.

Continue reading ‘NASCAR Fans Hear About PBM Abuses’

Congress’ August Recess Provides Opportunities to Promote Common Sense Policy

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Congress recently adjourned for its annual August recess. During this five week period, Senators and Representatives will be spending much time at home, touring the state or district and listening to constituents. For independent community pharmacists, this presents a tremendous opportunity to educate members of Congress on the role you play in the healthcare system and in your communities, and on the patient services you provide. This is also an opportunity to advocate for common sense reforms regarding abusive audits by pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and to seek reversal of a CMS rule regarding home delivery diabetes test supplies (DTS). You also can educate elected officials on the unintended consequences of some legislative efforts regarding pharmacy compounding.

Continue reading ‘Congress’ August Recess Provides Opportunities to Promote Common Sense Policy’

States Lead the Way in PBM Reforms: Will Congress Follow?

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Independent Community Pharmacists are both small business owners and trusted healthcare providers. As such, they contribute to both the local economy through employment opportunities and taxes. In fact, studies have shown that for every dollar spent at a local small business, $.68 is reinvested in the local economy, this drops to $.43 for chain stores, and mail order purchases bring no economic benefit to communities. As healthcare providers, independent community pharmacists they promote proper medication adherence with patients, check the patient’s medication regimen for harmful interactions, and when appropriate work with the patient’s doctor to prescribe lower cost generic alternatives: all of which contribute to savings in the health system.

Continue reading ‘States Lead the Way in PBM Reforms: Will Congress Follow?’

Lawmaker Touts Community Pharmacies in Congressional Remarks

By Kevin Schweers

Before Congress adjourned for its August recess, Congressional Community Pharmacy Caucus member and U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), reasserted his support for independent community pharmacies and their role helping patients and contributing to the local economy.

Continue reading ‘Lawmaker Touts Community Pharmacies in Congressional Remarks’

“Special Order” Draws Congressional Attention to Independent Community Pharmacy

By Michael Rule, Associate Director of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

This past Wednesday (July 24), Representative Doug Collins (R-GA) took to the House floor to speak on the benefits of independent community pharmacy. Rep. Collins noted his personal experience with independent community pharmacy stating that he frequents Woody’s Pharmacy in GA. Further, he highlighted his experience with proprietor Kevin Woody, “And I go in there and I know that when I ask him about the drugs for myself, for my wife, my kids, he gives me answers. He helps me know why they interact, what goes on. We’ve got pharmacists in all kinds of settings that do that every day for folks.” Continue reading ‘“Special Order” Draws Congressional Attention to Independent Community Pharmacy’

Patient Survey Finds More Good News for Independent Community Pharmacies

By Kevin Schweers

Independent community pharmacies score high once again in customer service, according to the recently released Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmacy Satisfaction Pulse survey of patients. Chain Drug Review has run an interesting series of articles on the survey’s findings. This blog post looks at the survey from the independent community pharmacy perspective.

Independent pharmacies garnered the top satisfaction scores among all pharmacies. Ninety-one percent of patients who said they primarily use an independent pharmacy said they are overall very satisfied or satisfied. Independents also scored highest in key factors such as filling prescriptions accurately and efficiently, convenience, pharmacy/staff, loyalty and likelihood to return and to recommend to someone else.

That’s consistent with past surveys in this series. Also in line with past years is the fact that mail order receives the lowest satisfaction rates among patients, compared to all other pharmacy options.

Some other numbers of note from the survey include:

  • Independent pharmacy consumers were among the most likely pharmacy users to say their pharmacy had improved over the past year (on top of already high satisfaction scores in the previous surveys). Mail order patients were least likely to report an improvement in service.

  • Patients of independent pharmacies receive their prescriptions within 20 minutes on average—much more promptly than those who patron other pharmacies. Patients said it takes two or three time as long, on average, to receive their prescription at other brick-and-mortar pharmacies. Moreover, one-third of independents’ customers received their prescription in 10 minutes or less.

  • Independent pharmacists interact with their customers far more often compared to other pharmacy types. Perhaps not surprisingly, a much larger percentage of independent pharmacy customers report the pharmacy staff as the main reason they chose their pharmacy, compared to other options.

  • Independent pharmacies scored slightly higher than mail order in patient satisfaction with pricing. Yet, on a separate question, the vast majority of mail order customers (69 percent) report choosing mail because of “pricing/insurance” (emphasis added). Arguably, this reinforces the conventional wisdom that few patients willingly seek out mail order pharmacies, but many are required to use them by insurance plans, even if the costs to the plan may be higher.

  • Independent pharmacies’ helpfulness with insurance issues increased markedly compared to the same 2012 survey.

The full survey has plenty of other nuggets that patients and independent community pharmacy staff alike may find informative. Previous editions of the survey can be found at

Patient Testimonials Speak Volumes for Independent Community Pharmacies

By Michael Rule, Manager of Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Independent pharmacists know firsthand how patients feel about their service as receiving a heartfelt thank you from a patron is a typical daily occurrence. Whether it’s taking steps to avoid adverse medication interactions, working with their doctor to switch their prescription to an appropriate lower cost generic alternative, counseling them on the proper use of their medications, or even providing free same day home delivery to a patient, those services are appreciated.

Continue reading ‘Patient Testimonials Speak Volumes for Independent Community Pharmacies’

More Mail Order Pharmacy Waste Documented by Pharmacists

By Kevin Schweers

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.

Continue reading ‘More Mail Order Pharmacy Waste Documented by Pharmacists’

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Search by Categories


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 453 other followers