This PBM tried to steal business and intimidate community pharmacists—despite the patients wishes.
The pharmacist of an in-house clinic at a community oncology practice was going over patient files one day when the phone rang.
The caller politely introduced herself as an employee of a well-known PBM specialty pharmacy, and then abandoned all niceties as she proceeded to ask why the pharmacist was filling a prescription for a patient that by all rights belonged to them. The in-house pharmacist pulled up the file for the patient in question, who was battling advanced stage ovarian cancer. Not seeing any conflict of interest, he requested further details.
“Did the patient’s physician intentionally send the script to you?” she asked, to which the pharmacist replied, “Of course he did. Our pharmacy is located inside of the practice.”
In clipped tones, the caller explained that his filling of this script was “outside of the manufacturer’s contract, and illegal.” Unfazed, the pharmacist responded by saying that there was no law preventing them from filling it. At this point, realizing that her strong-arm tactics were getting her nowhere with the pharmacist, she changed tactics; perhaps the doctor would be an easier target. “Did the patient’s physician intentionally send the script to you?” she asked, to which the pharmacist replied, “Of course he did. Our pharmacy is located inside of the practice.”
With no wiggle room left, the caller said that she would be informing the patient of all this, and abruptly ended the call. The pharmacist was left to marvel at the audacity of trying to intimidate him into handing over a patient – and the corporation that clearly couldn’t care less about what was best for her.
When that corporation’s income is derived from ‘trolling’ the system to collect more profit-generating patients receiving treatment for life-threatening ailments, we realize things have gone way too far. At some point, something must be done to rectify the perverse profit- motives and incentives behind the corporate PBM approach patient care.