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We talk with the president of Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency - Jason Wallace about the efforts to ensure PBM reform and to preserve choice for our patients and fair-trade for Independent Pharmacy owners.
About – P.U.T.T.
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency is a growing coalition of independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners dedicated to exposing widespread abuse and manipulation by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). We are a not for profit organization funded by individual members, not corporations or other special interest groups.
PBMs are remarkably effective at increasing their profits and market shares. The $29.1 billion merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions created the largest PBM in the nation – increasing the potential for widespread PBM abuse to an alarming new height.
We created Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency to expose the PBM myth by illustrating the ways they inflate prescription drug costs. Their greed hurts all Americans by draining the economy and obstructing access to medicine.
Our coalition is comprised of more than 1,000 pharmacists and pharmacy owners from coast to coast. As major players in the prescription drug market, we have extensive inside knowledge of the PBM industry to share. Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency is a resource for employers, policy makers and members of the media. We are here to explain the intricate PBM business model designed to camouflage their scam.
PBMs are the unknown middlemen who help lower drug prices, but the industry is dogged by criticism, including lack of transparency.
Mr. Ned Milenkovich focuses his practice on medical device, drug and pharmacy law and is the head of the drug and pharmacy practice at Roetzel. His practice encompasses federal (including FDA and DEA related matters) and state regulatory compliance, licensing, transactions and dispute resolution. He has represented clients in all segments of the drug supply chain, including manufacturers, wholesale distributors, third-party logistics providers and pharmacy retailers (including bricks/mortar retail, long-term care, mail-order and specialty pharmacies), in addition to pharmacy technology companies, prescription management companies and physician practices. His broad-based experience also includes representation of Medicare Part D matters, 340B issues, HIPAA compliance, prescription drug monitoring programs, drug diversion issues, drug pedigree and compounding issues.
Mark Riley, P.D. NCPA President
NCPA President Mark Riley, currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association(APA). In this role he is the chief spokesman and advocate for pharmacy in Arkansas, representing pharmacy practice to the State Board of Pharmacy, state legislators, Arkansas Medicaid, other state government agencies, as well as consumers and private businesses.
Dr. Riley is a nationally renowned expert on Pharmacy Benefit Managers* (PBMs) and is President of the National Community Pharmacists Association, (NCPA®), based in Alexandria, Virginia, which represents the interests of America’s community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains.
Dr. Riley joined APA as Executive Vice President in 2003. He has owned East End Pharmacy in Little Rock since 1983 and served as pharmacist-in-charge until 2003. From 1971 to 1983 he served as manager/pharmacist at Landmark Pharmacy, both in Little Rock.
Dr. Riley’s professional affiliations include: member of various steering and standing committees and Board member of NCPA since 1979; faculty preceptor and guest lecturer, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy; member, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy 1999-2003; and member of the Dean’s Council, UAMS. Dr. Riley served on the Board of Directors and was President of APA in 1984-1985. He was awarded APA “Pharmacist of the Year” in 1988.
Ron Lanton interviews Edward McGee about industry challenges, taking action for positive change, and the business of pharmacy ownership. Ed is the President and Executive Director of New Hampshire Independent Pharmacy Association and Independent Pharmacy Alliance. Ed also owns Family Pharmacy.
Formed in 2002 by five independent pharmacists committed to serving their customers, the NH Independent Pharmacy Association now has over 30 member pharmacies. Working together to advocate for reasonable, common-sense solutions for keeping prescription drugs affordable, the NHIPA works with customers, drug companies, and people throughout the government and private sectors to better serve the people of New Hampshire.
Ed McGee – President Family Pharmacy
Ron Lanton III, Esq.
True North Political Solutions
We’d like to welcome our new co-host & Government Affairs Strategist:
Ron Lanton, founder of Truth North Political Solutions.
Mr. Lanton has over 20 combined years of government affairs and legal experience. This includes activities on the municipal, state, and federal levels of government. Most recently he worked for H. D. Smith, where he created and oversaw the company’s Government Affairs Department, served as their exclusive lobbyist and also advocated for the company’s various healthcare customers. Prior to that Ron worked at a government affairs consulting firm in Arlington, VA where he worked on healthcare, energy, commerce and transportation issues.
He has also clerked for a federal magistrate, was appointed as a municipal commissioner on environmental issues and has consulted Wall Street firms on financial issues. He has been a featured industry speaker on issues such as pharmaceutical safety and healthcare cost containment. Mr. Lanton has a Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University of Ohio. He is also a 40 under 40 award recipient.
RxPreferred Benefits is a privately held Pharmacy Benefit Manager founded, and solely owned, by independent pharmacy representatives who understand the importance of what true PBM transparency means.
Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, RxPreferred is a mission-driven organization, dedicated to outperforming the expectations of our clients, members, and shareholders.
RxPreferred Benefits – Headquarters
506 N Mt. Juliet Road
Mt. Juliet TN 37122
We interview our 4th time guest - Dave Marley, founder and board memebr of Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency. (PUTT)
Materials from Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency Aim to Reduce Drug Costs and Eliminate Abuses by Pharmacy Benefits Managers
Produced by Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT), the tool offers an in-depth look at the complexity of negotiating pharmacy benefits and includes information on the role of PBMs, common problems employers face, definitions of industry jargon, and information on rebates, verification and plan services. More information is available at www.truthrx.org.
We interview Kyle Fields - with ApproRx, a transparent PRO-Independent Pharmacy Benefit Management company.
Appro-Rx is a growing Health Information Technology (HIT) company dedicated to payer medical cost reduction and improvement in patient health outcomes via their provider network. Through the use of Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) technologies, Appro-Rx provides customers with prescription drug claims processing, prescription benefit management tools and other IT needs.
Appro-Rx’s claims processing engine currently processes prescriptions through its PBM Software backbone for more than 400 thousand covered lives spread over 500+ employer plans and processing approximately 1 million claims per month.
The principals of Appro-Rx believe strongly that the PBM model is broken, and we have set out to be industry game changers. We are targeting current practices – spread pricing on prescription drugs, manufacturers’ rebates and mandatory mail order programs that benefit PBMs instead of employers and patients. Our mission to bring pricing fairness and transparency to the PBM industry will enable employers to realize significant cost savings and improved health outcomes for their employees. Appro-Rx has backing from independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners; various municipalities throughout the United States; and political and governmental groups.
Kyle Fields, PharmD, RPh
We interview - Danny Vela owner of Lee’s Pharmacy in McAllen, TX and member of the Rio Grande Valley Independent Pharmacy Association, who explains the situation in Texas (& throughout the country) that pharmacies have been facing when the state began its transition to managed care for Medicaid. Pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies were brought in to oversee the state’s prescription drug program.
Vela’s observation about the situation: “States that have tried this in the past, are now going back to the way they used to do things before. States that are going back, are using the [old] Texas vendor drug program model to go back to. So logic tells you that we had a great program in place. Why did we mess with it?”
WANT TO HELP? Contact us: (412) 486-0800
PHARMACY CHOICE & ACCESS NOW:
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency
Preserving Community Pharmacy Access
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran
Pharmacy Podcast Episode 43: Mike James & Association of Community Pharmacists Congressional Network
Interview with Mike James - Director of Government Affairs ACPCN
ACP has registered hundreds of independent pharmacists to participate on a Congressional Network “Pharmacy Committee.” Committees will be formed in every state!
“Every congressional district has independent pharmacies, and we want to make sure Congress hears from all of them,” stated Bill Rustin, ACPCN President. “Members of Congress should be talking with their local pharmacies rather than the PBM industry in Washington.”
ACP Congressional Network is the Nation’s Largest Pharmacy Grassroots Army
ACPCN helps independent pharmacists arrange meetings with members of Congress and shape critical legislation. It is organized around Pharmacy Committees that help ACPCN organize hometown data about pharmacy operations, and committee members often contact their elected officials to provide timely information.
ACPCN maintains a database of members in the Congressional Network. The information is used by the ACPCN team in Washington to ensure members of Congress focus health care initiatives on patients and taxpayer savings rather than special-PBM interests.
“Our grassroots program will build on the successful model that is giving hometown pharmacies a voice in Washington,” according to Rustin.
122 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency is a growing coalition of independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners dedicated to exposing widespread abuse and manipulation by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
PBMs are remarkably effective at increasing their profits and market shares. The pending $29.1 billion merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions would create the largest PBM in the nation. If approved by the federal government, potential for widespread PBM abuse would grow to an alarming new height.
We created Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency to expose the PBM myth by illustrating the ways they inflate prescription drug costs. Their greed hurts all Americans by draining the economy and obstructing Americans’ access to medicine.
Our coalition is comprised of nearly 200 pharmacists and pharmacy owners from coast to coast. As major players in the prescription drug market, we have extensive inside knowledge of the PBM industry to share. Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency is a resource for employers, policy makers and members of the media. We are here to explain the intricate PBM business model designed to camouflage their scam.
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency is a growing group of nearly 200 pharmacists from more than 35 states
For more information email visit us at http://www.truthrx.org
About: Dave Marley, PharmD.
Marley Drug, Inc.
5008 Peters Creek Parkway
Winston Salem, NC 27127
Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW (PCPAN) http://preservingcommunitypharmacy.com
is a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists from across the country that have come together for the purpose of opposing the planned merger between Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc. PCPAN is a project of the Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) coalition, which fights on behalf of patients to preserve access to quality and affordable health care and pharmacy services.
PCPAN exists because patient well-being and access to pharmacy services are being immediately threatened by the planned merger between two of the largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies, a merger which could go into effect as soon as the first part of 2012, providing the combined mega-PBM excessive dominance and control over the health care of tens of millions of Americans.
PBMs, which serve as middlemen between corporations or insurance companies and patients already wield a one-sided advantage in setting prescription medicine contract and reimbursement terms for community-based pharmacies. This merger would only make a bad situation worse for the American health care system. Eva Clayton – PCPAN Chairperson
Eva M. Clayton is a former member of Congress who represented eastern North Carolina (1992-2003). She served as Chair of the Nutrition & Operations Sub-committee of the Agriculture Committee, Member of the Budget Committee, and Co- Chair of the Rural Caucus. Upon retirement, she accepted the position of Assistant Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (2003-2006). She remains active with agriculture, rural development and food security issues.
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