The story on the concentration of power in the hands of a few and unlimited pricing power is scary

The following is a fax I just wrote to my pharmacist, an indie who is really up on this stuff. He is the one who had my back; covering the inflated cost of my 62-year-old Benzo for Tardive Dyskinesia two months in a row thinking Medicare Part D would reimburse him. He took the loss two months in a row on my behalf. He’s got my back. do I have his????? This is what I ask myself and I urge you all…..skip the chains. Indies are where it’s at for cost and service. They get to know you and catch drug drug interactions and side effects your doctor might be too busy to catch. It’s their business and they are damned good at it.

 

2-22-16

Dear Ade,

Good Morning, The stories about monopolies and prescription drugs just keep getting worse.

I read this transcript of a testimony given for senate oversight committee of government reform re: prescription drugs. The guy’s name was Mark Merritt, claiming to head up the league of pharmacy benefit managers. He claims they leverage lower prices on prescriptions, bla, bla bla.

Then I read a New York Times article by a Yale University Endocrinologist who says that one of the three biggest PBM’s Actually IS CVS! Even tho insulin has been around forever, only three big companies control the market and have managed to keep tweaking their meds to extend patent protection all these decades. Her patient can’t afford the price of insulin once she hits the donut hole and can’t afford her medicine for the rest of the year because it’s too expensive and she doesn’t qualify for RX assistance or Medicaid. This is the situation I find myself in but I have more cash on hand than most.

Isn’t that a Conflict of Interest? She claims once her client hits the donut hole she can’t pay for her medicines and what’s worse, only three people …Lantus, Sanovi and Norvo Nordisc, make injectable insulin, a biologic, which has been extended patent protection for 12 years, not 7, and controls the insulin market until a biosimilar shows up. Every time I think I have the story figured out….it gets worse!!! Now I’m thinking of submitting a story to the Sun Sentinel. What have I got to lose? At least they are not compromised.

 

OK..More importantly,

I’m coming going out your way tomorrow to see the dentist so I have an RX list of stuff that’s close or due. I’m out of donut hole so I’m an aggressive consumer again, saving my extras for the months I can’t afford anything.

Here is the list: Valium, Metformin, Linzess, Lipitor. I’ll drop off the scripts. I see psychiatrist this week so anything we need I will find out from you.

Love,

Allison Strong

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