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A PBM insisted a clinic transfer a patient's prescription to a specialty pharmacy, but not under the patient or doctor's orders.


For two days, a PBM specialty pharmacy had been calling and faxing a doctor’s clinic, which offers a pharmacy to provide integrated care to the patients it treats. The specialty pharmacy was claiming that one of the clinic’s patients, William, had requested that his lung cancer medication be transferred to their pharmacy, and was demanding the clinic’s immediate compliance in the matter.

“They never seemed to know what was going on with my medication.”

Surprised by the news, the physician contacted William to inquire about his decision, only to discover that this was the first time William had heard of the matter. “Please do not transfer it anywhere else! ”William asked. “ I want to get it filled through the dispensary. I did not ask for this. I love being able to get this right away and with no hassles. I was on an oral chemo before and it was filled by a specialty pharmacy and I always was getting it late, missed a few days of medication sometimes and had numerous phone calls from them. They never seemed to know what was going on with my medication.”

At first it may seem surprising to hear of a specialty pharmacy resorting to lies in order to steal business from an in-house dispensary. On deeper examination, however, it would seem just the next step in a long line of unethical behaviors resulting from the industrialization of the pharmacy system and the dehumanization of patients seeking medical care.