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DATE 2019-01-01

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Key: archive Value: 2019-01-01

Key: id Value: 547571

MESSAGE
DATE 2019-01-28
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Community Pharmacy is being destroyed by the
From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Mon Jan 28 23:02:19 2019
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From: Ruben Safir
To: weinsth-at-nysa.us, cdeutsch-at-council.nyc.gov, Hangout
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Subject: Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Community Pharmacy is being destroyed by the
PBMs and it is your fault
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https://www.amny.com/news/nyc-pharmacy-drug-prices-1.26548424?fbclid=3DIwAR=
3XGiLsfsZiN5c3hcvS53m9r134BXk3JBJokRhahRRG78GdyeMZelgVslE

\Local pharmacies concerned about future: 'We're on track to be bankrupt'

More than 500 pharmacies in the city say reimbursements put their
business in jeopardy.
Community pharmacists are worried they will have to

Community pharmacists are worried they will have to cut back hours or
staff, a recent survey says. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin
By Nicole Brown
nicole.brown-at-amny.com -at-ncb417
Updated January 28, 2019 4:11 PM
Print Share

Nearly 500 neighborhood pharmacies in the city are considering cutting
hours or staff this year because of financial concerns, according to a
recent survey.

Small pharmacies are being =E2=80=9Cchoked=E2=80=9D by pharmacy benefits ma=
nagers (PBMs)
that control how much they get reimbursed for drugs purchased by
customers through insurance plans. Acting as a middleman between
insurers and pharmacies, PBMs charge insurers and pay the pharmacy,
rather than the insurer paying the pharmacy directly. But the price the
pharmacy gets from the PBM can be less than what it originally paid for
the drug, according to multiple pharmacists.

=E2=80=9CThe pharmacy is the only business where you actually lose money wh=
en
you give out a product,=E2=80=9D said Keith Lewis, the supervising pharmaci=
st
and owner of the 79th Street Pharmacy on the Upper West Side.
A customer shops at NoLita Chemists at 208 A customer shops at NoLita
Chemists at 208
A customer shops at NoLita Chemists at 208 Mott St. on Jan. 24. Photo
Credit: Corey Sipkin

According to a survey of 532 pharmacies, conducted by the New York City
Pharmacists Society in early January, 99 percent are concerned that PBM
practices will jeopardize their business in 2019, 70 percent had already
reduced store hours or laid off employees in 2018 because of the PBMs
and 92 percent were considering making cuts this year, a spokesman for
the NYC Pharmacists Society said.

=E2=80=9COver the last year, I=E2=80=99ve cut everything that I could cut,=
=E2=80=9D said Nicky
Legakis, pharmacist and the owner of NoLita Chemists, which has been in
the neighborhood for about 30 years. =E2=80=9CWe=E2=80=99ve cut our store h=
ours, we=E2=80=99ve
cut the staff and I cut my pay a long time ago =E2=80=A6 we=E2=80=99re on t=
rack to be
bankrupt and destroyed.=E2=80=9D

The contracts that PBMs have with insurers are private, so pharmacists
don=E2=80=99t know how much the insurer pays for the drug or how much the P=
MBs
are pocketing.

=E2=80=9CThe number one thing we need in our industry is transparency,=E2=
=80=9D said
Vincent Mazzamuto, pharmacist and co-owner of Sedgwick Pharmacy, which
has been in the north Bronx since 1978. =E2=80=9CNo one knows how these PBMs
operate.=E2=80=9D
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