This is something we (those who own or work for independent pharmacies) have been waiting for. Finally someone was bold (and brave) enough to bring an action against a PBM on DIR fees. This someone is Aids Healthcare Foundation (“AHF”), a California non-profit, which owns and operates retail pharmacies that serve HIV/AIDS patients. While many

Back in 2020, I wrote a blog post on potential PBM audit issues and disciplinary actions based on purchasing diabetic test strips from unauthorized wholesalers. The problem is still prevalent. In fact, during these past few months, we have seen several manufacturers sending cease-and -desist letters to pharmacies demanding money for lost sales and threatening

PBMs often flag telehealth claims and scrutinize the legitimacy of such scripts. When we see chargebacks based on “Invalid patient/prescriber relationship,” we know that it’s time for some legwork. We typically research (1) where the prescriber and patient were located; (2) whether prescriber was authorized to prescribe the medication in question; and (3) whether the

Automatic refills is a landmine. Some states prohibit them outright. Medicare requires patient consent before each delivery. Most PBMs also place some conditions on auto-refills, such as obtaining authorization from the patient for each refill (to prevent fraud, waste and abuse and to ensure that patients receive only medications that they have requested). PBM manuals

I am very excited to announce a release of Gavel & Pestle podcast where I speak on PBM audits, trends, and litigation. With Brooke Kulusich we discuss the most common compliance mistakes that pharmacies make, the implications of Rutledge v. PCMA decision, and how independent pharmacies can think outside-the-box in their approach to PBMs.

Please

This year we saw some positive litigation outcomes for independent pharmacies. Let’s talk about two recent victories in PBM litigation. (Both cases were brought by Mark Cuker who represents several groups of pharmacies across the nation).

One of the cases was brought in California against Optum alleging misrepresentation, fraud, and breach of contract. Optum filed

Pharmacy terminations based on aberrant quantities and products are becoming more and more prevalent. It is difficult to appeal such terminations due to broad definitions of aberrant products/quantities and PBMs’ excessive discretion on what constitutes such products and volumes.

For example, PBM manuals usually state that Provider “must not dispense aberrant quantities of” certain products

I am starting a series of posts consisting of mini-topics that I covered during my December webinar. I had many questions regarding the information presented and will try to address some of the issues in this series.

Today I will be talking about manufacturer coupons, which is a common cause of significant PBM recoupments.

Let’s

Last week, California pharmacies filed a legal action against OptumRx alleging patient steering and violations of California law by paying low reimbursement rates.

Independent pharmacies allege that OptumRx is paying them substantially less than to chain pharmacies and Optum’s mail-order pharmacy for the same prescriptions. Pharmacies also complain that OptumRx reimburses them below acquisition cost.