Summary: A friend writes: “Our latest RX story. I can’t tell you the [pharmacy benefit manager], but here are the facts: [My husband] needs Crestor refilled. Calls in to drug store chain that has filled it for 20 yrs. they say he has to have generic. He says no, you have ‘fill name brand’ from doc. They say ‘expired.’
2. Meantime they send a ‘we are filling the 90 day Rx and mailing it to your address’ — where we haven’t lived for 4 years
3. He calls our local store. Yes, they have the order from doc, it’s ‘$131.00’
4. No, says [my husband], I have a coupon on your file; they say, ‘oh, you have to tell us that before you fill it’
5. He says, give me corporate.
6. They say, ‘you are right Mr [xxx], no need for you to call. And we don’t know why they were going to mail your drug, and we have the right address, and you always pick it up at this store in [town]’
7. He picks it up, they say, ‘Thank you, Mr [xxx], here’s your $3.00 prescription for Crestor’
And you think this is a ‘system of care??’ Ha. It’s set up like this on purpose.”
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.