Affordable For Whom? Debunking the Website Marylanders for AffordableRx

At first glance, Marylanders For Affordable Rx appears to be a coalition of concerned Maryland citizens. Nothing could further from the truth. Other So-called “patient coalitions” with the moniker “(State residents) for Affordable Rx” have popped up across the U.S. but are not actually patient groups at all. They are front groups created by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), a trade association/lobbying organization representing the nation’s 11 largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). 

These sites, including Maryand's “Affordable Rx” site, are rife with misinformation and appear to have been created to for the purpose of distorting facts and spreading misinformation, most likely in an attempt to discredit the independent pharmacies who’ve successfully demonstrated the depth and breadth of PBM anti-competitive practices and profiteering.

Here are the facts behind the misleading claims on the Marylanders for Affordable Rx site..

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Commentary: Skip the Doctor & Head to the Pharmacist for a Vaccine

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that pharmacists in all 50 states are now able to administer the full schedule of lifesaving immunizations for children ages 3 to 18.

As immunizing pharmacists and faculty at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, we want parents and guardians to know that this authorization now makes it easier and more convenient than ever to keep your children up to date on these important vaccines — especially as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Fleecing of Maryland Medicaid and Your Tax Dollars

Spread Pricing is Stealing $70 Million* of our Tax Dollars from Maryland Medicaid Annually

That is not a rounding error or just "Administrative Cost” - the State of Maryland Insurance administrators claim this is theft from the MD taxpayer. 

 

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The Pharmacy Benefit Manager and 3rd Grade Math

This is the 3rd-grade math explanation of how Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) work:

PBM denies $300 drug. They then force the doctor to use the $1200 version made by the same company with a different label, and makes the price $1194. And then, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST), for example, just saved the patient $6 whole dollars.  Follow the money, it always tells the real story.  This is the story of how BCBST is selling PBMs to the employers, particularly the self-funded employers, as a ‘cost saver,’ but the reality is far from cost saving… it is the exact opposite.  

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IPMD Contributing Author of Summary Recommendations Sent to White House on Drug Pricing Reform

PUTT Executive Director, Monique Whitney, and FDA Senior Advisor, Dr. David Gortler, PharmD, FCCP, co-authored a Summary Proposal of Recommendations to lower drug prices which was submitted to the Trump Administration on Monday, Sept. 14th. IPMD President, Sherine Joseph was a contributing author of the document. 
The 27 page plan, which was submitted at the request of senior ranking trade advisors, contained a comprehensive series of PBM reform measures...
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What is a PBM: The Rise of Pharmacy Middlemen

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) serve as middlemen administering prescription plans for insurance companies. This middleman industry, which began innocuously in the 1960s, has now through unregulated mergers and acquisitions been reduced to 3 major companies due to lack of regulation. The situation has created a major monopoly in the healthcare industry and is and driving up prices prescription drug prices at a staggering unchecked rate.  Continue Reading

PUTTcast Episode 6: The Legislative Value of Independent Pharmacy Associations

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Join PUTT co-hosts Monique Whitney & Lauren Young as they chat with representatives from IPMD, LIPA, and MIPA about the intrinsic value of independent pharmacy associations within the state legislative process.  Listen Now

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