Blogs: Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency

The Beginning of a Movement

Dave Marley, founding member, Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency
Published Online: Friday, November 4, 2011
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By Dave Marley, founding member, Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency



It had been a particularly rough start to the summer in the pharmacy. Within a period of a couple of weeks, I learned that a Medicare Part D plan that was essentially built and developed by the independent pharmacy community had been sold to CVS/Caremark. Shortly after that came the news and ads manufactured by the PBM lobby that trashed independent pharmacists. They were also going after state Medicaid drug programs in Florida and Kentucky. Next came the news that Express Scripts wanted to buy Medco.

As I drove with my family to the beach, images of the PBM ads filled my head. Pulling into Kitty Hawk, NC, I had a realization: PBMs are engaged in a full-fledged public relations and marketing campaign that both trashes independent pharmacists and paints an inaccurate picture of their industry. If we independents have any chance of survival, we need to get into the game ourselves and teach the public what they don’t know about PBMs.

Unfortunately, as pharmacists, we don’t know a thing about public relations (PR) or public information campaigns. Fate intervened while on vacation at the beach. As I was leaving a church, I struck up a conversation with another vacationer who happened to own a PR firm in New York. I told him about the independents’ woes. He told me to get others involved and start an organization to counter the twisted tales told by PBMs—both in public and behind closed doors.

When I got home from the beach, I posted the following question on a pharmacy listserve: “What do you all think about going after the PBMs in the press?” Two weeks and 153 comments later, we hired a public relations firm and Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency was born.

Now 600 members strong with representation in 40 different states, our group has spent the last 2 months planning our own campaign. We want reporters, human resources managers, politicians, corporate leaders, and all Americans to understand terms like “spread pricing.” We want them to know the downside of a mandatory mail order plans. Most of all, we want them to know the real costs of prescription drugs.

We created a website, TruthRx.org, as an information hub and place to network with like-minded pharmacists. We devised a media strategy that presents our members as industry experts available for commentary and analysis. Our boldest effort is collecting and cataloguing specific examples of how unethical and misleading PBM policies unfold in America.

Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency believes the best way to bring change and accountability to the PBM industry is to share these individual stories. We will use this blog as a venue to tell these stories and also to highlight news and views on relevant issues. And today, we take our campaign to the press. We will not stop until the truth about PBMs is reported in the media. We don’t know how long it will take, but we know we will get there. We hope you will join us by becoming a member and sharing your own PBM stories. Visit TruthRx.org to learn how.
About
Blog Info
This blog is designed to keep pharmacists educated about the truth behind drug costs and keep them informed on the misinformation spread by PBMs.
Author Bio
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency is a growing coalition of independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners dedicated to exposing widespread abuse and manipulation by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency is a resource for employers, policy makers and members of the media. We are here to educate pharmacists about the intricate PBM business model and help counter the misinformation spread by PBMs. We are a not-for-profit organization funded by individual members, not corporations or other special interest groups. For more information, visit our Web site at TruthRx.org (http://www.truthrx.org/).

Disclaimer
The opinions stated in this blog are the sole and present opinions of Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency and do not necessarily represent the views of Pharmacy Times and/or its editorial staff. The information stated in this blog is for informative purposes only and should not be constituted as legal or medical advice. Pharmacy Times makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses or damages arising from its display or use.
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