Published Online: Wednesday, March 1, 2006

What are seniors to do if they encounter difficulties filling Medicare Part D prescriptions? According to AARP, they should consider switching pharmacies.

Leaders of AARP have told members that they should go elsewhere if they find problems having Part D prescriptions filled.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) William D. Novelli characterized the inability of many retail pharmacies to verify eligibility for the new Rx benefit as "unacceptable." He said, "If individuals are having trouble at one pharmacy, we are recommending they try another."

NCPA, however, recognizes the troubles encountered at the initiation of the program but reflects on the advantages and safety seniors realize by continuing to use their same pharmacist. Bruce Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of NCPA, stated, "Unfortunately, for both patients and pharmacists, the normal experience at the pharmacy has been disrupted during the launch of Medicare Part D. Pharmacists are spending long hours working with their patients to ensure that they are walking out of the pharmacy with the medications they need. Not only is it dangerous to switch back and forth between pharmacies, [but] most independent community pharmacies have long-term, personal relationships with their patients, and that's something most patients don't want to sacrifice."

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