I own a small, rural, independent pharmacy in Iowa, La. I am very concerned that money was given to physicians to gear up for electronic prescribing, but was not given to pharmacies. The fact is, for pharmacies to use e-prescribing, we have to pay 30 cents to receive and transmit e-prescriptions. This is charged to us anytime we receive e-prescriptions or if we use e-prescribing to request refills from the physicians. This is an injustice and unfair that the total cost of e-prescribing is totally paid by the pharmacies.
I hope that Louisiana's Health and Hospitals Department will look at this and provide reimbursement to pharmacies. With 90% of my business being paid by a third party like Medicare Part D, Medicaid and private insurance through pharmacy benefit managers, we are again being cut for reimbursement by providing pharmacy care to the patients in the U.S. These PBMs send us take-it-or-leave-it contracts, and we cannot negotiate for extra expenses mandated by the government.
With Louisiana being a rural state, we had five independent pharmacies located in rural areas close last year because they could not keep the doors open with these contracts offered by PBMs with low reimbursements. This really affects access for our citizens who are now having to drive 30 to 50 miles one way in some cases just to find a chain pharmacy or another community pharmacy.
Ricky T. GuidryGuidrys PharmacyChairmanLouisiana Independent Pharmacies AssociationIowa, La. To submit a letter to the Modern Physician Reader Blog, click here. Please include your name, title, company and hometown. Modern Physician reserves the right to edit all submissions.