IMPORTANT - TRICARE (military) bill could greatly affect community pharm please act!

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by tongiecc, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. tongiecc

    tongiecc Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    8
    A bill is presently underway to force all maint. meds for military and dependents using Tricare to have to do mail order. This could be bad news for community pharmacy as a whole, and though it may not be a 'doomsday' scenario for us this could greatly effect the Rx opportunities for many of us in the future - essentially I'm saying that if this goes through it could influence job opportunities for us as there may not be as much retail volume available, so it would slightly lessen the RX volume for community pharmacy and hence would create less jobs than if it were not to pass as the mail orders recieving the increased volume likely won't need to staff much more due to the fact that they rely heavily on automation.

    SO please take the time to review the bill and of course formulate an opinion on the issue, and if you concurr with the idea that this could potentially be harmful to our profession PLEASE take the time to act on it by contacting your representative(s) ASAP.

    I also want to include some further information:

    Subject: Take Action Now - TriCare Program

    We urge you to take action to inform Members of Congress of our concerns with the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5122/S. 2766). As you know, we are advocating that Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) pricing be available to the Department of Defense (DOD) for prescriptions filled for military beneficiaries at retail pharmacies, just as occurs with those filled at military treatment facilities and the mail order program.



    With the Federal Supply Schedule pricing available for retail prescriptions, DOD could achieve cost savings without mandatory mail or differential cost sharing to incentivize military beneficiaires to use mail.



    Even though consideration of these issues is currently limited to members of the Conference Committee, it is important we communicate with all Members of Congress, and especially the leadership of both parties, to talk to the Conferees and urge them to keep FSS pricing in the final conference report which will give military beneficiaries the choice as to where they have their prescriptions filled.



    We really need the cooperation of every member company on this one and for them to engage as many of their employees as possible. We have contacted all of our chain member CEOs, NACDS' Policy Council and our main contacts, pharmacy contacts and government affairs contacts, asking them to take action. Thank you for your help!



    To contact your Senators and Representative please click the link below.

    http://www.capitolconnect.com/nacds/takeaction.asp
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. oakland_raiders

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    Just remember there are two sides to every coin. If this bill does not go through, Tricare will have to increase its copays and premiums in order to operate at less of a loss then it already operates at. What this means is that those soldiers and sailors that are married with a kid or two and make $20k a year will have to pay higher premiums. There is a nationwide shortage of pharmacists. This shortage is not going to change anytime soon with the retirement of the babyboomer generation and the conversion to the Pharm D for all pharmacy schools. You may think you are protecting your $100k per year job, but you are doing it at the expense of those enlisted service members and our retirees. In reality Tricare will only affect regional areas with high military populations. Remember too that those mail order perscriptions have to get filled and checked just like any other script. What it may mean is a slight shift to close-door pharmacies from community based ones.
     
  4. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    3,547
    Likes Received:
    18
    I actually read your post yesterday & decided to think about it since we don't have much Tricare here - just retirees...we have very little active military left in CA compared with 15 years ago.

    However, this is not a new concept - having companies force their employees & families to use mail order. The many, many big companies around me - HP, Apple, Intel, Google, etc....have all done this at one time or another. It all failed & now most offer a mail order option on top of using local providers. Some employees use mail order, most have come back when we lost them to mail order when they were forced that way.

    In my experience, it really does work itself out. Mail order only doesn't work for a number of reasons & particularly in this group in which the families are very transient when the active duty person gets deployed.

    In my experience also, most military families, both active duty & retired would rather use a base pharmacy when one is close enough. I'm only used when they don't want to drive to a base. However my n=4 & these are relatives who are in the military - so take it with a grain of salt!

    That being said....again, I'm not in an area in which the largest employer is the military so I'm not a good representative of how it might impact your area. However, each employer - the govt or Google can decide how they want to provide their benefits.

    Good luck with your efforts!
     
  5. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I understand your point, but at the same time I think that the folks with TRICARE insurance have really been shielded in the last few years from what is going on with the private sector co-pay structure. In my practice, the TRICARE copays of $3 generic and $9 brand are significantly lower than almost every other plan that we see. It's not unusual to see some of our patients with a $60 co-pay on a drug that would cost the TRICARE member $9.
     
  6. oakland_raiders

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    A good and valid point, however that is a seperate arguement from the one the OP put up above.

    Quote: "essentially I'm saying that if this goes through it could influence job opportunities for us as there may not be as much retail volume available."

    My point is that voting/supporting a bill to save your $100k+ per year job (which doesn't need saving anyway) so you can stick it to some enlisted soldier who is deployed 60% of the time and makes $20k a year is not right.
     
  7. tongiecc

    tongiecc Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    8
    You all make exceptionally valid points, and what I more want to accomplish with this post is that you are all given the opportunity to be informed on this issue and subsequently formulate your own opinions. i.e. if you are like 'oakland_raiders' and have experience on the military side of the issue you may present with a differing conceputalization of the issue. Essentially I am simply stating that regardless of whether you have served before or not we are all in this profession together, and this bill will likely have at least some effect on the practice of pharmacy, so all I ask of you who read this post is to be responsible to your ideals and formulate an opinion on the issue and act on it, whichever side it may be on, for to apathetically disregard issues so central to our profession would prove to be an atrosity.
     
  8. emogrrrrl

    emogrrrrl I like my freedom

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Having been a dependent for many years of a retired military officer I personally don't see anything wrong with having a copay of $3 and $9. Active and retired military serve their time and they get benefits in return, so what's the issue with that? From what you stated above you're basically arguing that b/c most people in the private sector have to pay a higher copay then those who are military should start paying more just to see what's going on and how it feels. I think that's ridiculous b/c they are more then aware of how much other people pay, but again the lower copay is their benefit for serving their country.
    I've seen people who have $0 copay, granted they are former CEO's or something of that nature, but it's the benefit of their job. People are always going to gripe when they see someone else with better benefits.
     

Share This Page