Magazine article Drug Topics


Magazine article Drug Topics


Article excerpt

Do it now

Pharmacists, it is time to wake up and stand up--to the PBMs! If you do not take a stand now, there will not be anything left for independent pharmacy in three to five years!

This sounds pretty bleak--no independent pharmacies left in three to five years. Allow me to explain.

Aetna recently purchased U.S. Healthcare and sent out new contracts to all providers: AWP-16% plus $2. This meager rate is outlined below:

I could go on forever, but I hope you get the picture. Let's say that it costs $4 to fill a prescription; there would be a loss on all brand-name Rxs.

It is my understanding that pharmacies are accepting this rate because they are afraid of losing their patients to another pharmacy that will accept this contract. When enough pharmacies accept this contract, what will stop the others (PCS, PAID, etc.) from lowering their rate as well? When that happens, there will be nothing left! Either take a stand now, or watch independent pharmacy disappear!

I have reviewed all the contracts that my store has with third-party companies, and we have eliminated any contract that is below AWP less 13% (which is the bare minimum). I urge all pharmacies to review their contracts and eliminate the ones that are not profitable.

Jerry Whitman, R.Ph. Whitman Pharmacy Holicong, Pa.

The compounding R.Ph. In "Second that motion" ("Briefly," April 7), you refer to a Los Angeles pharmacist who compounds a scopolamine gel, and you give a phone number for information about its availability. …

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