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540,000 Patients Lose Compounded Prescription Coverage says Patients and Physicians for Rx Access
Date:8/14/2014

FAIRHOPE, Ala., Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, is offering ambiguous and misleading reasons for ending coverage of customized prescription medications for 540,000 individuals in order to conceal financial motives, a Patients and Physicians for Rx Access said Thursday, Aug. 14. The organization is fighting to stop the unprecedented benefit cuts being made by Express Scripts and other pharmacy benefit managers.

"In July Express Scripts began sending form letters to more than a half-million patients nationwide, saying it will stop paying for their compounded medications on September 15," said Jay McEniry, executive director of Patients and Physicians for Rx Access. "Patients are sharing those letters with us.  The letters are filled with misleading statements designed to confuse these patients while denying them access to important medications prescribed by their doctor."  

In most letters, Express Scripts states that it will end coverage in September because the patient's medication contains at least one ingredient that has not been verified as safe and effective by the federal Food and Drug Administration. However, Express Scripts fails to mention that the FDA verification process is generally reserved for testing mass-produced drugs made by large manufacturers. The FDA process is not applied to compounded prescriptions because pharmacists custom make the medications based on a doctor's order to meet the unique needs of each individual patient.

Numerous state and federal laws and regulations are aimed at ensuring the safety and efficacy of compounded medications. For example, pharmacists are required to purchase ingredients used in compounded medications from FDA-regulated suppliers, who also supply ingredients to many commercial drug manufacturers.

Some Express Scripts patients have received letters t
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SOURCE Patients and Physicians for Rx Access
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