Michelle Sherman: On February 15th 2013, Anthem Blue Cross announced hat it would put on indefinite hold it's plans to move all HIV/AIDS, and other specialty drugs, to mandatory mail order service. We have VICTORY for now, thanks to all your efforts, and the tireless work of HIV Pharmacies, HIV clients, advocates and people just doing the right thing. Keep fighting and pushing on so that "indefinite" becomes forever!
Anthem Blue Cross has already taken away pharmacy choice for transplant patients, cancer patients, multiple sclerosis and some others and now HIV/AIDS is next. Are they going to take away your choice of pharmacy for you and your kids next.
Anthem Blue Cross is forcing HIV patients to use their mail order pharmacy, Curascript that is owned by the giant PBM (Prescription Benefit Manager) Express Scripts, which will severely compromise the care of these patients. Community HIV specialty pharmacies have been providing excellent care to HIV patients for thirty years and manage the patients drug therapies avoiding potentially fatal drug-drug interactions, help patients with adherence ensuring that patients take their medication every day so the patient does not develop resistance to HIV medications, and also provide education on an array of other issues critical for an HIV patients quality of life and well being, such as linkage to other services within their community. Patients have forged relationships with their HIV pharmacist, whom they know, like and trust and who have become crucial healthcare providers on the HIV patients care team.
HIV Patients do not want to switch to Anthem Blue Cross's pharmacy and their care will be severely compromised as many have already experienced the horrors of mail order pharmacy in the past. Anthem Blue Cross and Express Scripts want you to believe that removing the patients choice and stopping the patient from getting their prescriptions from their local, trusted, expert pharmacist, and having them fill the prescription will be cheaper and cut down on healthcare costs. This couldn't be further from the truth. What it does is compromise patient care and puts hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of the Insurance companies and PBM's so that they can get bigger checks and bonuses, while patients get sicker and may even die.
Keeping patients in the care of their local HIV expert pharmacists is what will ultimately decrease healthcare costs and keep patients healthier.
If HIV patients’ choose to remain with their local pharmacy they will have to pay 100% of the cost of the drug, which would be thousands of dollars a month.
Please stop Anthem Blue Cross from executing this mandate January 1st, 2013 and allow HIV patients to have a choice on the pharmacy they select without penalty.