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Letter: Support pharmacy choice in Medicare, Medicaid

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 9:26 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 9:31 p.m. CST

To the Editor:

As a small business owner and independent pharmacist, I write to commend the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for aspects of their recently proposed rule that will improve Medicare Part D for beneficiaries, in particular the effort to expand patient choice of pharmacies. 

For several years, Medicare has experimented with restrictive preferred pharmacy networks that often limit the best prescription drug co-pay options to only certain chain pharmacies, which limited choices for beneficiaries and didn’t necessarily result in cost savings.

In recognition of these issues, CMS has proposed that any pharmacy willing to accept the terms and conditions of a contract can participate and offer reduced co-pays to Part D beneficiaries. This will expand the options available to seniors on where they can obtain the best co-pays offered by the Part D plan, and will let seniors focus on selecting a pharmacy based on service and their particular needs. 

CMS recognizes that the best way to reduce costs in Medicare Part D is to foster competition, and I urge all readers to voice support for these proposals to CMS and to their elected officials. 

Tim Lehan 

DeKalb

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