Press Releases

PUTT CONGRATULATES FLORIDA GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT AND STATE LEGISLATURE FOR PASSAGE OF “PBM TRANSPARENCY BILL

March 28, 2018 –  Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) congratulates Florida governor Rick Scott and the Florida State Legislature for passage of HB351 — the “PBM Transparency Bill” — into law this week.

The new law moves oversight and regulation of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) operating in Florida to the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation and restores the right of pharmacists to inform patients of lower cost cash prices for their medications when available … Read more …

 

PUTT CONGRATULATES ARKANSAS PHARMACY ASSOCIATION, APPLAUDS ARKANSAS GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON FOR PASSING PBM LICENSURE ACT AND CALLS ON OTHER STATES TO ENACT SIMILAR LEGISLATION

March 16, 2018 – Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) applauds Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for signing the “Pharmacy Benefits Manager Licensure Act” into law yesterday. PUTT additionally congratulates the Arkansas Pharmacy Association and its members for their diligent efforts to call attention to the abusive, anti-competitive practices perpetrated by PBMs that led to the drafting of this landmark legislation that will take effect September 1, 2018. Read more …

March 14, 2018 – Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) opposes the newly-announced merger of Cigna, the nation’s fifth largest health payer , and Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) in the U.S.  PUTT calls on the Federal Trade Commission to block this merger as we also call on the FTC to block the consolidation of CVS and Aetna.

“OUTSIZED PBM PROFITS” RISE TO $576.6 MILLION WHILE FLORIDA COMMUNITY PHARMACIES AT $3.1 MILLION LOSS SINCE JANUARY 1

February 23, 2018 – In time with a newly-released report by President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors that calls for transparency among the largest pharmacy benefits management companies (PBMs) in order to help reduce the high cost of prescription medications, Florida’s independent pharmacies are also sounding the alarm about PBMs. Now 6 weeks into 2018, the state’s independent pharmacies have lost a combined total of $3,174,722 since January 1 because of below-cost reimbursements by the PBMs who manage Florida residents’ prescription drug plans.  Read more …

 

PBM PROFITS $477 MILLION, FLORIDA COMMUNITY PHARMACIES’ LOSSES TOP $2.6 MILLION IN FIRST 5 WEEKS OF 2018

February 6, 2018 – Five weeks into 2018, Florida’s independent pharmacies continue the losing battle against pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs). The latest figures show the state’s small business pharmacies – many serving small and rural communities – lost another $439,400 last week from PBMs reimbursing prescriptions below cost, bringing total losses since January 1 to $2,686,317. In the same period, PBMs generated an estimated $477.4 million in revenues earned between the amount they charged health plans and what they reimbursed the independent pharmacies for prescriptions dispensed to those health plans’ enrollees, according to data obtained by Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT). Read more …

 

“OUTRAGEOUS AND IMMORAL”: PBM PROFITS AT $379 MILLION TO DATE, FLORIDA COMMUNITY PHARMACIES’ LOSSES EXCEED $2.2 MILLION

January 30, 2018 – As the largest pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs) continue to rack up hundreds of millions in revenues that are destined to leave the state, Florida’s independent pharmacies’ losses also continue to mount. Last week Florida’s independent pharmacies lost another $693,101 in reimbursements on already-filled prescriptions, bringing their total losses to $2,246,917 since January 1, 2018. In that same period, PBMs generated an estimated $378.4 million . Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT), an independent pharmacy advocacy group, has been collecting data in Florida since 2017.  Read more …

 

FLORIDA COMMUNITY PHARMACIES LOSSES TOP $1.55 MILLION FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS, PBMs’ REVENUES EXCEED $279 MILLION

January 24, 2018 – Florida’s independent pharmacies lost $469,016 last week filling prescriptions, bringing total losses to $1,553, 816 since January 1, 2018. Meanwhile the largest pharmacy benefits management companies (PBMs) generated an estimated $279 million during the same period, according to Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT). Based outside of Florida, the largest PBMs – CVS/Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx (a division of UnitedHealthcare) – contract with small business pharmacies but those contracts contain “take it or leave it” conditions, including reimbursements below a drug’s average wholesale price.  Read more …

 

FLORIDA COMMUNITY PHARMACIES LOST $1.08 MILLION FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS WHILE PBMs MADE OVER $180 MILLION

January 15, 2018 – Florida’s independent pharmacies lost $619,400 last week filling prescriptions, bringing total losses to $1,084,800 since January 1 while the largest pharmacy benefits management companies (PBMs) profited an estimated $180 million during the same period, according to Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT). The largest PBMs – CVS/Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx (a division of United Healthcare) – are based outside of Florida, meaning the bulk of the revenues generated by the spread pricing – the difference between the price the PBM charges the health plan sponsor and the amount it reimburses the pharmacy – leave the state and are not reinvested back into the local economy.  Read more…

 

FLORIDA COMMUNITY PHARMACIES LOST $456,400, PBMS MADE OVER $81 MILLION DURING FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY 2018

January 9, 2018 – Florida’s independent pharmacies lost an aggregate $465,400 filling prescriptions during the first week of 2018 while at the same time the largest pharmacy benefits management companies (PBMs), who contract with those pharmacies, profited an estimated $81,081,000, according to Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT). The PBMs that predominantly cover Florida’s residents – CVS/Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx (division of United Healthcare) – are based out of state, meaning the bulk of the $81 million profits generated this week leave the state and will not be reinvested back into Florida’s economy. Read more …

 

PUTT’S RESPONSE TO THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ON THE ROLE OF PBMS IN THE GENERIC AND COMMERCIAL DRUG SUPPLY CHAIN

December 8, 2017

We are Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT), a growing coalition of U.S. independent pharmacy owners. We have seen and experienced first-hand the damage caused by big business Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), the 3 largest of whom command as much as 79 percent market share according to testimony by Mark Merritt, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA).

As you know, the PCMA is the trade and lobbying association for PBMs, and Mr. Merritt represented the interests of his organization’s clients as a member of the Federal Trade Commission’s panel on November 8th. A cross-section of our members were also represented at the meeting – in the audience, wearing gags over their mouths to symbolize what has happened to the care and practice of pharmacy since PBMs have taken control. Read more …

 

STATEMENT FROM PUTT REGARDING SCHULTZ v. CVS HEALTH CORPORATION LAWSUIT AND GRABSTALD v. WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE:

August 11, 2017

For too long, America’s independent pharmacies have been forced to make a choice between doing what’s right for patients and doing what they are told by the large, non-transparent Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) companies they are forced to contract with in order to have patients to serve.

Because independent pharmacists are contractually bound, they must live with abusive, anti-competitive PBM practices, including gag clauses and clawbacks. Their contracts force them to stay silent when a PBM takes advantage of patients by charging a copay higher than the non-insured price of medication. Read more…

 

PUTT APPLAUDS CONNECTICUT’S NEW ANTI-CLAWBACK LAW, URGES U.S. DISTRICT COURT IN NORTH DAKOTA TO UPHOLD NEW LEGISLATION REQUIRING GREATER PBM TRANSPARENCY

July 19,2017

Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) today congratulated the state of Connecticut for passing legislation that effectively makes the practice of pharmacy clawbacks by Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) illegal. Clawbacks happen when the cost of a prescription is less than the co-pay charged to the patient — the PBM “claws back” the difference, which it keeps rather than refund to the patient. For example, a $50 prescription drug co-pay on a drug that costs

$12 to fill results in a “claw back” of $38 to the PBM — not a savings for the patient. Read more…

 

PUTT CONGRATULATES NEVADA STATE SENATE ON PASSAGE OF DRUG PRICING TRANSPARENCY LAW, CALLS ON OTHER STATES TO ENACT SIMILAR LEGISLATION

June 28, 2017

Together with the Nevada Pharmacists Association, Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) offered congratulations to citizens and the state legislature of Nevada for the passage of SB 539, a landmark bill requiring pricing transparency from drug manufacturers and Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) “middlemen” responsible for negotiating the prices patients and payers pay for those drugs. Read more…

 

PUTT LAUNCHES PBM REFORM CAMPAIGN

May 9, 2017

Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) today announced the launch of #PBMReform – a campaign aimed at exposing the facts about how non-transparent Pharmacy Benefits Management companies, or PBMs, create an anti-competitive business environment that ultimately hurts patients and taxpayers by threatening small business and community pharmacies. PUTT, who is calling on Congress to demand transparency from the PBM industry, unveiled a new, multi-media campaign on its website entitled “#PBMReform” to arm patients, taxpayers and pharmacists with information and resources they need to contact their legislators about unfair PBM practices. Read more…

 

PHARMACISTS UNITED FOR TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY ENDORSES GEORGIA PHARMACY PATIENT FAIR PRACTICES ACT, APPLAUDS STATE LEGISLATURE

March 21, 2017

Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) today announced its endorsement of Georgia Senate Bill 103, The Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act,  and acknowledged the state legislature for its decision to put the needs and rights of the patient first. SB103 passed through both houses of the Georgia legislature and is on its way to Governor Nathan Deal for signature. Read more…

 

PHARMACIST WATCHDOG GROUP CALLS OUT DONALD TRUMP AND HILLARY CLINTON

October 17, 2016

During the second presidential debate, audience member Ken Karpowitz asked, “Affordable Care Act … is not affordable. Premiums have gone up, deductibles have gone up, copays have gone up, prescriptions have gone up, and the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the cost down and make coverage better?” Read more…

 

FLORIDA BASED PHARMACY LOSES CLOSE TO 330 MONTHLY PRESCRIPTIONS AFTER CVS CAREMARK CONTRACTS FLORIDA BASED MEDICAID HMO PLAN

July 20, 2016

Patients of Discount Pharmacy in Dade City, Florida were surprised to receive cautionary network restriction letters from their Medicaid HMO Plan, Staywell. The letter warned that after March 31, 2016 only the approved pharmacists listed in the letter would be covered under Staywell’s Managed Care Plan. Patients quickly noticed Discount Pharmacy was nowhere to be found on the list.  One of the co-founders of Discount Pharmacy describes that period as a flurry of confusion, “Since the restriction was enacted in April, we’ve lost approximately 326 prescriptions per month from 51 patients, because, and rightfully so, they don’t want to change their plans.”  Read more…

 

PHARMACISTS UNITED FOR TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY DEMANDS OVERSIGHT OF THIRD PARTY PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGEMENT COMPANIES

June 1, 2016

“Currently there is very limited industry regulation or even clarity of how PBMs conduct business,” said Teresa Stickler, Pharm D. and President of PUTT. “There is scant evidence that PBMs reduce the overall cost of prescription medications. The PBMs evolving business practices through purposeful complexities are negatively impacting patients, payors and pharmacies and ‘negotiating’ reimbursements with pharmacists that are often below the pharmacy’s cost. This and other deceptive practices are depriving independent community pharmacies and their patients the opportunity to do business fairly.” Read More…

 

ACPCN To Congress: Review FTC Failures in Prescription Drug Market
The Federal Trade Commission is Uninformed About PBM Practices That Destroy Competition
April 3, 2011
The Association of Community Pharmacists Congressional Network (ACPCN) testified at a March 29 hearing by the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet that independent U.S. pharmacies lack any trust in the Federal Trade Commission to protect their rights. The hearing focused on HR 1946, a bill that would allow independent pharmacies to negotiate together with pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs).  Read More…


Drug Costs Will Rise as FTC Approves Medco/Express Scripts Mega-Merger

Independent Pharmacists Denounce Deal as License to Price-Gouge the Consumer
April 2, 2011

FTC approval of a merger between two of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits mangers (PBMs), Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc., will only add to the rising costs of prescription drugs, according to a group of independent pharmacists.  Read More…

Four Independent Pharmacies Sue HHS and CMS for Violating Medicare Part D Law By Allowing Drug Plans To Establish Cartels With Big Box Retailers
March 6, 2011
Four members of the Association of Community Pharmacists Congressional Network (ACPCN) have sued the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The lawsuit charges that CMS wrongfully permitted prescription drug plans (PDPs), run by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), to create “preferred pharmacy networks.” The ACPCN coordinated lawsuit seeks to prevent CMS from approving network schemes that allow select pharmacies to entice enrollees through economic incentives, including lower copayments, while denying competing pharmacies access to the same terms and conditions as required by the Medicare Part D prescription program law. Read More…

Pharmacists Launch Campaign to Expose Unreasonable Price Markups on Prescription Drugs by Pharmacy Benefit Managers 
November 3, 2011
A national coalition of pharmacists and pharmacy owners today announced a public information campaign to expose the unjustifiably high prices of prescription drugs set by pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), the unregulated, multibillion dollar industry that controls prescription health plans for more than 200 million Americans. Read more…

Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency announce national campaign against PBM abuse
October 4, 2011
A growing group of pharmacy owners banded together this summer to form a coalition designed to take on PBM abuse, mandatory mail order and other threats to one of America’s oldest and most trusted professions, the pharmacist. They put out the word and quickly raised $100,000, hired a New York City consulting firm and became an incorporated entity: Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency. Read more…