Video: Rx for Failure Part 2 – Sen. Manar ‘Open Up’ state contracts

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – Pharmacy owner Owen Sullivan worries about his business. “Twenty-six years I’ve built that pharmacy and they want to come in and steal it and they want to use state tax dollars to do it.”

Sullivan, who owns Sullivan Drugs in Carlinville, made his comments during an Illinois House hearing on a bill which would require the state to increase payments to pharmacies under the states new managed care program which started on April 1. Sullivan is not the only pharmacist with concerns related to the states managed care program and the growing influence of Pharmacy Benefit Managers, PBMs.

“I honestly, even with a paid off business, because I’m going to be paid off in four-or-five months, I don’t think I can keep my doors open because I am going to be in the negative so much I can’t keep up with how much I am losing,” Sullivan told I-TEAM reporter Doug Wolfe.

PBMs set the price pharmacies are being paid to fill prescriptions including taxpayer funded Medicaid prescriptions. They are considered the middleman between insurance companies and the pharmacy. Numerous pharmacists we have talked with, and others who post on the internet, say PBMs are forcing them to sell prescriptions below the cost of dispensing them or at an unsustainable level. By contract, pharmacists are frequently forced to sell prescriptions at a loss.


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By Doug Wolfe