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Nationwide Coalition Blasts ESI CEO George Paz for Slighting Community Pharmacists
Date:2/27/2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! (PCPAN) coalition today blasted George Paz, chief executive officer of Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) for slighting and devaluing community pharmacists in comments made during the question and answer portion of the company's Q4 2011 Earnings Call.  On the February 23 call, Paz said, "NEXIUM is NEXIUM, LIPITOR is LIPITOR, drugs are drugs and it shouldn't matter that much [who is] counting to 30."  According to PCPAN, the comment is part of a pattern demonstrating the true feelings on the part of the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) about pharmacists and should raise serious concerns about allowing it to merge with Medco, as it would mean lost jobs for the community pharmacy industry.

"ESI and Medco have spent the last several months trying to defend their merger against claims it would result in decreased access to local community pharmacies, but recent comments demonstrate that ESI and Medco completely devalue pharmacists and show that the claims are indeed valid," said former Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, chairwoman of the Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! (PCPAN) coalition.  "Comments like this should raise serious concerns about how a combined company with such an attitude would treat pharmacies that provide important services and employ people in our communities.  This is yet another reminder that this merger must be stopped."

ESI and Medco have tried to deny claims the merger would negatively impact smaller pharmacies, but comments from the companies' CEOs show the pharmacists have reason to be concerned.  Last December, Paz testified that he, "Can't stop certain
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SOURCE Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW!
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