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Pharmacy Podcast Episode 34: Eva Clayton with Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW

Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW (PCPAN) 

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. It would result in a consolidated PBM controlling a significant part of the market, thereby eliminating choice and access for patients who depend on local pharmacists for their prescription medications and other health care services.

A consolidated PBM of this size would control a large share of the supply line of brand-name and generic drugs, especially in markets where the PBMs are already highly concentrated, thereby raising the prices of prescription medications and leaving employer health care plans and patients with few remedies outside of absorbing the cost increases.

To prevent these anti-competitive effects in the health care delivery system, the consumers, pharmacists and small businesses that make up PCPAN are working to stop this planned merger. The bottom line is clear: the merger between Express Scripts and Medco is not in the best interest of patients, employers or health care in America. It must not be allowed to move forward.

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.

Direct download: PharmacyPodcast_Episode_34_Eva_Clayton_PCPAN.mp3
Category:Pharmacy -- posted at: 11:46am EDT