I am mailing this letter to the next confirmed Secretary of HHS. I am not holding out much hope, but what you and I see every day, the waste of $$$$ resources for prescription drugs, is something that I want to see HHS discuss with us, the pharmacists with our feet on the floor in the pharmacy.
I think that we could open the eyes of the secretary about PBMs, their refusal to pay for vital treatments and their paltry reimbursements. In the end, they do nothing to assure their premium payers good health and welfare.
Tell me what you think. Am I just blowing smoke? I had to do this. My conscience would not leave me alone. Now, I can rest. I took my shot. Why not take your shot.
The US Dept of HHS
200 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Mister Secretary,
The delivery of health care to the American people has been hit and miss for the last eight years. Many patients have been neglected. Others could not afford even basic care. Medicare Part D is a cruel and difficult landscape to navigate for too many. I believe that there is a chance for it to get better with you running the show.
My name is Jim Plagakis. I have been a practicing pharmacist for 43 years. I have written the Drug Topics magazine column JP at Large for 20 years. My view is from the inside.
More than $2 trillion per year is spent for medical care in our country. Much of this is wasted. Consider that the biggest drains are over-utilization and the middle man.
Patients with insurance take prescriptions that are no longer necessary. Doctors order MRIs for sprained ankles. Old women get dressed up to go to their weekly doctor appointment. They are not ill. It is a social event. They see their friends. The doctor gives them a few minutes and bills Medicare.
Insurance companies take in a dollar in premiums and dole out eighty cents in payments. For the twenty cents they keep for themselves, they provide absolutely no medical care.
Mister Secretary, when the discussion comes to prescription drugs, the cost and the delivery, I urge you to consult pharmacists who actually work in pharmacy departments. Pharmacy owners have their own, unique view. You will not get a clear look from discussing matters with the executives from Rite-Aid or CVS. They do not see what we see.
I am only one of a network of working pharmacists with a clear vision. Please call on us to serve.
Jim Plagakis, R.Ph.