This week, 60 Plus joined the growing chorus of concern surrounding recent actions taken by pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts and parent company Cigna that will adversely affect millions of senior citizens, military members, veterans, and their families.
Earlier this year, Express Scripts forced more than 15,000 independent and local pharmacies out of TRICARE, the benefit program for military members, veterans, and their families – instead choosing to enrich themselves and boost their own profits.
In response, 60 Plus President Saul Anuzis wrote a letter to Amy Bricker, President of Express Scripts, and David Cordani, Chairman and CEO of Cigna Corporation, raising deep concern with the recent decision.
Already, pharmacy associations led by the National Community Pharmacists Association have spoken out against the decision, and, as Mr. Anuzis writes, “Express Scripts and Cigna have been condemned by leading military and veterans organizations, Members of Congress, and even their own customers.”
Express Scripts is also severely restricting seniors and retirees’ access to prescriptions and will “likely force them to pay more out of pocket for lifesaving medications and health care” as a result of another recent decision to terminate their Medicare agreement with Kroger.
Worse yet, Express Scripts failed to notify its Medicare customers for weeks that their plans would no long allow them to fill their prescriptions at local Kroger pharmacies next year.
As an advocate and representative for millions of senior citizens who rely on Medicare, 60 Plus is deeply troubled by Express Scripts’ behavior and condemns in the strongest terms their decision to cut off access to care for two of America’s most vulnerable populations and their families.
The actions from Express Scripts are clear. The company has “abandoned and is providing a great disservice to our country’s active duty military members, veterans, their families and dependents, and now seniors who rely on Medicare.”
Instead of engaging in greedy, profit-seeking behavior, Express Scripts should focus on reaching agreements that increase access to care for military members and Medicare beneficiaries. They should also be sure to provide clear, timely communication when they decide to terminate contracts that could impact millions of Americans and their families.