Yesterday came the welcome news that the good – and smart – folk in positions of authority in Idaho have drafted work comp regulations designed to prevent outrageous up-charging for physician-dispensed repackaged drugs. Approved by both Legislative houses, the rules will shortly go into effect. Idahoans are fortunate indeed to be in a state where they can proactively prevent a problem by implementing regulations, and don’t have to pass legislation to save taxpayers and employers dollars.
Oh, if that were only the case in Florida.
Two bills have been introduced by allies of physician dispensers that purport to address the issue. Both require physician dispensers to pay a $15 “rebate” to employers for each physician dispensed script they bill. Why, you ask?
They say that physician dispensed drugs’ average bill is only $15 higher than the average retail pharmacy bill, so the $15 covers their higher costs.
They are, of course, lying.
First, physician dispensing companies get docs to dispense by telling them they can make another $50 grand (or more!!) a year giving drugs to work comp claimants. You can’t make fifty grand if you only make $15 more per script – unless you dispense 3,333 scripts a year…
Second, physician dispensers almost exclusively dispense generics, which are much cheaper – on a per script basis – than brand drugs. Retail chains sell brands and generics – brands cost over $200 per script. Thus, the claim that physician dispensed drugs only cost $15 more on average than retail is misleading and false on its face; in fact WCRI’s recent report on pharmacy in Florida notes: “physicians were paid 35-60 percent more than pharmacies for the same prescription.”
Of course, it is highly likely that the sponsors received thousands of dollars in contributions from those dispensers, who spent over $3 million in the last election cycle to ensure they could keep sucking money out of taxpayers’ and employers’ wallets to buy jets and fancy Italian sports cars – and generate fat profits to their investors – ABRY Partners being the most visible.
To our friends in Idaho; Yippee-Kai-Yay!
To those in Florida; Illegitimi non carborundum.