Independent pharmacy owners urge governor to sign PBM law

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WASHINGTONVILLE – Local pharmacists are calling on the governor to sign a bill on his desk that would tighten controls on pharmacy benefit managers, the companies that are regulating prescription drug prices and in some cases, forcing the closure of independent pharmacies.

The call to the governor has the support of Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R, New Windsor).

“They dictate reimbursement rates. They dictate the prices of medications and they really created a stranglehold on the healthcare system, particularly on medicine delivery and your ability to freely choose which pharmacy you would like to utilize as a patient and the costs and availability of medications,” Schmitt said.

Alphonse Squitieri, pharmacist and owner of Slate Hill Pharmacy, is president of the Pharmacists Society of Orange County and he said 80 percent of the pharmaceutical sales are handled by three large pharmacy benefit managers – Caremark, which is owned by CVS; Optima RX and Express Scripts.

“This bill is going to be potentially a footprint to get other states to possibly tag onto. This could cause a domino effect that could help the healthcare system across the country,” he said.

He said the bill would be a game changer for the better of the consumer.