Tom DePietro of DePietro's Pharmacy about pharmacy benefit managers, with Frank Andrews

Newsmaker Interviews
Thursday, February 1st

Tom DePietro of DePietro's Pharmacy talks about pharmacy benefit managers and how that affects prescription drug costs, with Frank Andrews


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Tom can you tell me. Again what this whole pharmacy benefit manager thing is. Yes and try and get them Gail mentioned that you know I appreciate the topic because. Not only does an impact independent pharmacies and we've been fighting for some time to bring some transparency to this. Industry but it impacts the consumers and a day to day basis but most consumers don't see the behind the scenes itself pitcher that. Three large corporations are the biggest pharmacy benefit managers. And those three pharmacy benefit managers control roughly about 80%. Consumers prescription benefits. Your employer is contract with the pharmacy benefit manager to handle and process the prescription claims when you walk into the pharmacy. They dictate what your co pay is they dictate how much your co pay and and then they also dictate how much they're gonna charge back your employer. For you receding now for description. What they know is the. That there in the middle. And they know. Right and that independent pharmacist will not eat communicating. What if let's say Entercom radio stations so I won't call and her parents say hey by the way. Trying to fill the prescription how much did they. Charge you because they only paid me five bucks well they might charge an attempt fifteen hours to select different. The fifteen dollars that they charged senator Pam. In the five dollars that was paid to the. The middle man are making ten dollars just by processing. One particular pressure scourge can claim. And believe me way say that the very low end example. So an and I wanna give it to get to highlight that. Express Scripts revenue Express Scripts is a large pharmacy benefit manager. Their revenue in two point 15100. In one billion dollars. Now all they do is manage impresses claimed. Look at a company Procter & Gamble who makes tangible product. That and consumers purchased. They're revenue 78 billion dollars. Walt Disney Disney corporation. Their revenue 52 billion dollars in the pharmacy benefit manager companies who just. Pushes paper around making a 101 billion dollars. And that's exactly why. Drug costs are skyrocketing. Because these guys in the middle. All are truly. Driving up the cost of prescription medications not Tom. You you have said and I most recently I saw something that you put on Linkedin that said you can't seem to get lawmakers to pay any attention to this an and the reason I'd I just called him now was because this this Fella has got tens of thousands of people and so we'll have hundreds of thousands of people that are going to be bombarding Washington saying make some changes so maybe. This is one of the vehicles that's gonna get people in Washington interested but my question to you was what do they need to do to change this to help us. And thank I have to wonder it is a lack of you know I understand. If I don't know pharmacies quite frankly I don't think I would know how pharmacy benefit managers operate. There's more people who are good lord get insured through their employer. And I don't think. The general public understand how to prescription benefits work. Nor should they have to they should be able to do is go to the pharmacy. And he'll look again I'll the eligibility go to the pharmacy and get prescriptions at a reasonable cost better doctor feels is necessary however. How many how many consumers how many. Of our most vulnerable people our our elderly that have paid into Medicare for this long. And earned that right to have many here how many of those patients are leaving pharmacies and being in there without a prescription drug that there doctor ordered. Because of these insurance companies. That they hate that our cup whatever the reason is for political style leaders cannot be involved up to this point they truly need to get involved. I'll I'll tell you I'll tell you exactly why they're not involved and that this is just my my political background it's because if they put out their newsletter and say hey we introduced a bill to deal with pharmacy medical managers everybody's gonna go watch who cares what does that make it doesn't it doesn't translate to people understanding and which is why I got excited about this guys website because all of a sudden she's making this part of the solution to the problems so that people have to pay attention and a few bunch and then with Medicare from negotiating in generic drugs and you put pharmacy benefit managers and all of a sudden Washington has to pay attention. Right when when the becomes mainstream and people are talking about its popular topic of course everybody wants to get down I'm not on the same. I'll wagon I tell you that can come that's on the very interest thing. Our veterans. I veterans receive benefits. Through Express Scripts under their insurance can't try care we get got a newsletter. That was sent out to all of our. I'm tri care recipients. Billionaire co pays are going from zero dollars and seventeen dollars this year yourself. So when you see it on TV and they're talking about how we're gonna controlled drug costs and how we're gonna take care of our own. No but do you have a if anyone deserves. Free. Generic drugs it's our veterans to get those people that end up for our country. Can you imagine they just fought for our country and now they're getting notification today that their drugs are going up from zero dollars percent to. And cleaned out there that's how that's anybody can give anybody would what would stand up and did that's right. I would love to have an argument went from the. Well you know tough I don't know I don't know why but this this whole pharmacy benefit managers thing has just just stuck in my craw and I am not gonna let it go oh I'm gonna keep bringing it up to lawmakers and LT bug and you so we can keep people aware but thank you again for let me talk to today. Prayer and my pleasure Tom the teacher individuals pharmacy.