Tagged: pharmacies Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CVS, , pharmacies,   

    New scam targets pharmacy customers 

    By Greg Collier

    Previously, we’ve seen scammers posing as some kind of debt collector. In most cases, the scammers pose as some type of government or law enforcement agent trying to collect a phony fine. They do this so they can put emotional pressure on the victim and scare them into making a payment. Scammers will also pose as utility companies who are threatening to shut off your service if you don’t make a payment then and there. Now, it seems that scammers are branching out into another area of the commercial space that a number of people depend on.

    In Southern California, a number of consumers have reported getting a call from their local pharmacy, specifically CVS. The call states that the victim has a substantial balance with the pharmacy. As with most scams, this scam seems to be targeting the elderly., traditionally a group of people who are dependent on their prescriptions. Imagine being dependent on a drug like insulin only to be told you owe the pharmacy hundreds of dollars.

    The call itself is a robocall where an automated voice message tells the victim that they owe CVS money. The recording tells the victims to call a ‘helpline’ to resolve the matter. The helpline is not a phone number that belongs to CVS. One victim called the helpline and couldn’t tell the victim which CVS had filled the prescription in question.

    While the report we’ve read doesn’t give a specific motive behind the scam, we imagine it’s to get money from its victims. It’s safe to assume that the scammers probably would have asked for payment in gift cards, money transfer, or prepaid debit cards. They could also be after medical coverage information to potentially commit Medicare fraud.

    If you receive one of these calls, the best thing to do is hang up. Then call your local pharmacy to make sure there isn’t a real issue with your pharmacy account.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collusion, , , , pharmacies,   

    Are drug companies colluding to raise prices? 

    Are drug companies colluding to raise prices?

    Previously, we’ve discussed a lawsuit against the country’s generic drug makers by 44 state Attorney’s General. The AGs claim that the pharmaceutical companies in question are colluding to keep the prices of generic drugs at the same inflated rate. Normally, when a patent expires on a brand name drug, it allows other drug manufacturers to make the exact same drug for cheaper. However, the lawsuit states that at least 20 companies are conspiring to keep generic drug prices from being competitive.

    Yesterday, the full details of the federal lawsuit were made public and included a number of codewords that the pharmaceutical companies used in discussions between each other. For example, ‘fluff pricing’ would refer to one of the companies charging a much more exorbitant price for a particular drug to maintain an illusion of competition. Whereas ‘playing nice in the sandbox’ allegedly referred to the companies not making trouble for each other. The lawsuit even alleges that the companies have tried to cover their tracks by instituting a no email policy and that they only communicate by phone.

    Artificially inflated drug prices can also affect the facilities that carry them and the insurance carriers that try to help pay for them. However, in the end, it’s inevitably the patient who has to shoulder the brunt of the cost. If the allegations in the lawsuit are true then the people in true need of these medications become nothing more than hostages paying an ever-increasing ransom to crooked companies.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pharmacies,   

    Are you being gouged for your medicine? 

    Are you being gouged for your medicine?

    Healthcare costs in this country continue to skyrocket and are out of reach of the many Americans who desperately need it. Whether it’s because of the states that refuse to expand their Medicaid programs or the fact that employers aren’t offering affordable healthcare coverage, many Americans are either uninsured or underinsured. It also doesn’t help that many pharmaceutical companies continue to put profits over patients’ needs. The most famous cases of this was by Martin Shkreli, aka the ‘Pharma Bro’ when he raised the price of a drug used to treat HIV patients from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. While Shkrelli is currently serving time for fraud it seems that other companies are following his strategy.

    44 State Attorneys General are suing a number of generic drug manufacturers for allegedly colluding to keep their prices higher than they should be. The suit alleges that the manufacturers of a “broad conspiracy” to inflate and manipulate prices of more than 100 commonly prescribed generic drugs. Normally, when a patent expires on a brand name drug, it allows other drug manufacturers to make the exact same drug for cheaper.

    Many of the drugs the Attorneys General accuse the drug companies of overinflating the price include simple things like antibiotics to life and death drugs like those for diabetes, cancer, MS, and HIV. The increased pricing not only puts a strain on the patients who require these drugs but also on health carriers, Medicare and Medicaid. The pharmaceutical companies accused of the price-fixing claim that the drugs that have increased in price are just a minority among the thousands of generics that are made today.

    Do you take a generic medication on a regular basis? If so, have you seen the price jump dramatically in the past few years? If so, please leave a comment below.

  • Geebo 10:47 am on October 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pharmacies   

    Are Amazon pharmacy rumors changing the healthcare landscape? 

    Are Amazon pharmacy rumors changing the healthcare landscape?

    Previously, we’ve posted about rumors of Amazon getting into the Pharmacy Benefit Management business. Those rumors became more substantial recently as the St. Louis Dispatch reported that Amazon has received approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states.

    While Amazon has refused to comment on these license approvals or whether or not they’re getting into the wholesale pharmacy game, that hasn’t stopped some businesses from reacting. Pharmacy chain and industry leading benefit manager CVS has put a bid of $66 million to try to purchase health insurer Aetna. If the purchase goes through, this would put CVS on par with UnitedHealthcare who has their own healthcare and pharmacy benefits. This would streamline pharmaceutical procedural operations for the potentially new CVS/Aetna and has the potential to save consumers money with their healthcare and pharmacy benefits being under one roof.

    However, the Amazon effect on this story should not be ignored. Billions of dollars have been put into action just on the rumor that Amazon is getting into the pharmaceutical market. When one solitary company has historically wielded that much power it ends up being targeted by the Federal Trade Commission. Maybe not during this administration, but in the future could we see Amazon being broken up like Bell Telephone was in the 1980s? If history is any indicator than the answer leans toward yes.

  • Geebo 9:02 am on October 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pharmacies   

    Is Amazon getting ready to enter into the pharmacy market? 

    Is Amazon getting ready to enter into the pharmacy market?

    If you have health insurance you might be familiar with having your prescription drugs being delivered by mail. Many health insurers use pharmacy benefit managers, PBMs for short, as middlemen between the pharmaceutical companies and the consumers. The PBMs determine which prescription drugs are covered under you insurance and at what percentage. Many of these PBMs encourage prescriptions to be filled by them to be mailed to the consumers. They offer some pretty substantial discounts to customers who use this procedure. Now, rumors are circulating in the business world that online home delivery giant Amazon is looking to enter the PBM market.

    There are pros and cons to Amazon moving into the pharmacy space. One of the pros is that this will offer more competition, as the PBM scene is ruled by only three companies, CVS, Express Scripts and United Healthcare. More choices for consumers is always a good thing as it could lead to competitive pricing for prescription drug coverage. However, the con could be that if Amazon does enter this market it could actually result in less competition as Amazon has a history of not being to fond of any competition.

    The even bigger problem with Amazon entering into this space is Amazon’s usual problem of trying to be all things to all people, a faceless global corporation that pervades itself into every facet of our lives. Is that what we really want, because that scenario benefits no one except Amazon. If we’re not careful Amazon could become a mega-monopoly with no one to challenge them.

  • Geebo 9:58 am on September 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , epipen, , pharmacies,   

    Online Epipen sales could be dangerous 

    Online Epipen sales could be dangerous

    I’m sure by now that most of you have heard about the controversy surrounding the pharmaceutical company Mylan and how they’ve been accused of price gouging for the life saving Epipens. For those who may not know, Epipens are injections that contain the drug epinephrine which is used to save the lives of those who suffer from extreme allergies like those to food or bees. It prevents the patient from going into what’s known as anaphylactic shock. The injectors used to be affordable but recently, Mylan has increased the price of the life saving medication to the point where it’s become too expensive for many of those with the sensitive allergies.

    Unfortunately, when crises like this arise, there are always those who try to take advantage of the situation. Epipens have started appearing online for sale on less than scrupulous marketplaces. This is not only illegal, it’s also dangerous. Let’s not forget that Epipens are a drug and should only be prescribed by a doctor. If you were to buy any Epipens online you could be risking the health of the patient if it’s not the right prescription for the patient. That’s not even mentioning that there could be fake Epipens being sold that could contain no medicine or some substance that’s either harmful or ineffective, much like the products sold by overseas pharmaceutical mills.

    While Mylan’s alleged price gouging may be seen as detestable, it’s not worth risking your own life by bypassing your doctor.

  • Geebo 8:24 am on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pharmacies,   

    Online pharmacies could potentially kill you 

    Online pharmacies could potentially kill you

    It’s not news that prescription drugs can be priced out of reach from the people who desperately need them. They may even be desperate enough to respond to a random ad for pharmaceuticals or an online pharmacy. While these ads may appear legitimate, too many of these ads could have dangerous or even lethal consequences.

    Many of these so-called pharmacies are actually pill mills from overseas. They may promise you a brand name medication that you need for cut-rate prices but the odds are that the medication you receive will not be the medication you need. They could potentially be just a mixture of ingredients that have nothing to do at all with the medication that you need and those ingredients could not only lead to your condition being exacerbated but could induce dangerous negative reactions and side effects as well.

    There are other avenues you can pursue to try to get some help when it comes to affording your prescriptions. The obvious one is asking your healthcare professional for samples. Many brand name pharmacies have discount programs that could potentially make your prescriptions more affordable. Lastly, many drug companies offer financial assistance for certain prescriptions.

    Your health is not worth taking dangerous risks over no matter how good the savings may be.

    • Sandra 7:54 pm on January 6, 2017 Permalink

      This may be true sometimes, but what’s the other option…not taking any meds because you do not have enough money to afford them?

      Samples used to be an option. I know because I was a drug Rep, and I left more samples with the physicians who had lower income patients to help in this disparity. But, it wasn’t my job requirement, and I’m not sure it would be considered sound business by the company I worked for.

      Nowadays, you can’t get samples like you used to. In offices known for heavy sampling, are no longer. To apply for the free RX programs through the manufactures can be daunting and leave one feeling hopeless.

      The best way to keep drug prices down is by paying the best prices…shop around, and don’t go just anywhere because you just pay a copay. Pay attention to total cost. If you have insurance, someone is still paying for your prescription cost, and the higher the cost only keeps prices higher. Insurance companies, employers, etc all are affected by how we pay and what we pay for.

      The desperate many out there going to overseas online pharmacies? It’s a risk, but there are so many factors that I see as risky to each individual.

      It’s estimated that 10% of all RX drugs, branded and generic, are counterfeit or adulterated somehow, and this isn’t on the black market, it’s within the legitimate pharmaceutical chain. So it goes.

      Another great resource for great drug prices is through GoodRx. They offer discounts on meds, and there are no strings or scams involved. For example, to pay out of pocket for a RX that’s generic and very cheap to manufacture costs about $40. With GoodRx, it’s found at same pharmacies from $7-18!

      Get the app and see for yourself. It’s the real deal, especially if you’re paying out of pocket, this could help you manage your RX and still afford to live!

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc