Meet CVS: Emotionally Abusive Schoolyard Bully
October 15, 2020
The schoolyard bully doesn’t like it when the other kids finally stand up for themselves.
Such was the case this week when CVS Health posted a 4-paragraph response to losing the $400 million State of Louisiana employee and retiree pharmacy benefits contract.
With zero irony, the largest health company in the U.S. complained on their LinkedIn page:
“By inserting themselves in the state’s process of selecting a firm to manage prescription drug coverage … special interest groups representing Louisiana’s independent pharmacists attempted to line their own pockets at the expense of the state’s taxpayers, employees, and retirees …"
The problem wasn’t that “special interest groups” inserted themselves into the process. Procurement was complete by the time Louisiana’s Office of Group Benefits submitted the CVS Health contract to the State Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget (JLCB) for approval, citing an “emergency.”
The problem was there wasn’t an emergency.
Forget Big Pharma, Big Health Insurance Is The Problem
October 27, 2020
There's an old French proverb, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Nothing could be truer of the U.S. healthcare system, especially in the shell game of prescription drug pricing. Although the cost and accessibility of healthcare – particularly medication – has hovered among voters' top concerns in presidential and midterm elections since at least 2012, elected officials have little power to control, let alone keep their campaign promises to lower drug prices. It's counterintuitive to think those who can create, execute, and enforce the laws somehow lack the power to rein in the drug industry. But it's not "Big Pharma" who's the problem, it's "Big Health Insurance."
It doesn't get any bigger than CVS Health, UnitedHealth/OptumRx, and CIGNA/Express Scripts. These three behemoths – publicly-traded corporations and their pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) divisions – hold an estimated 74% of the market share for prescription drug benefits.
..PBMs and their parent corporations are a deeply entrenched, well-funded enemy in the camp of healthcare reform. Their ability to fund campaigns that lie and mislead consumers, employers, legislators, and regulators is unmatched and certainly outpaces the efforts of the smaller, grassroots patient advocacy groups who are working to expose the truth about PBM practices. Continue Reading