LAWTON, OK (TNN) - “We want our patients to choose where they get the best care,” said Lucas Coody.
Lucas Coody is a pharmacist at Anderson’s in Lawton. He said that everyday he sees his patients leave their store frustrated because their insurance company, or the pharmacy benefit managers are making them use another pharmacy to fill their prescriptions.
“Unfortunately, these PBM companies they just have a lot of power, and they know it and they can use it. They are forcing patients to either go to a pharmacy they don’t want to use, a big named store or to use mail order,” said Coody.
Because of these PBM's Coody said often times they are handing out prescriptions at a loss.
“With insurance reimbursements getting lower, some of the practices these PBM’s are putting on the pharmacies a lot of patients don’t know about, it’s just harder and harder for some of these independent pharmacies to stay open and keep operating," said Coody.
With this bill heading to a Senate Committee, Coody is hopeful it becomes a law because of all the positive’s ew says it will provide to patients, and the level of transparency it will allow pharmacies to have about prescription prices.
“The patients get better prices, everybody just all around wins. These bills are really going to aim at letting the patients know what the best price is because right now it’s illegal for pharmacies to tell you if your insurance is charging too much,” said Coody
Representative Daniel Pae of Lawton said he’s excited that it would help local pharmacies compete with the bigger chains. He also said it would help patients have a better grasp on what prescription is right for them, rather than the PBM’s making the decision for them.
We have reached out to representatives from three of the largest corporate pharmacy chains... Walgreens, CVS and Walmart.
So far none have gotten back to us for a comment on the legislation.