The Voice of Louisiana's Local Community Pharmacies

 

Since 2001, The Louisiana Independent Pharmacies Association (LIPA) has been providing services that benefit its membership of independent pharmacies in order to promote and advance the pharmacy community. Independent pharmacies are the locally-owned, small businesses pharmacies in your hometown who offer a variety of niche services and friendly service that you won't find at most chain drug stores.

As small business entrepreneurs, independent pharmacists are dynamic, multi-dimensional health care providers who play a critical role in Louisiana's health care delivery system. With a strong foundation in their communities, they lead grass roots public health, civic, and volunteer initiatives and, as such, represent a vital resource. Short-term, the goal of pharmacies and LIPA is to ensure individual health but long-term, we are focused on improving the overall quality of health care in order to realize the best possible outcomes. Read More→

Latest Pharmacy News

Investigative Reports Expose PBM Clawbacks

Recently, WVUE Fox8 News of New Orleans has been airing a series of investigative reports on medical waste, examining the murky practice of PBM clawbacks and exposing how PBMs are ripping off pharmacists and their patients while fattening their own gigantic pockets. Lee Zurik, the station's anchor/chief investigative reporter, has done an impeccable job putting together these reports and explaining such a complex topic to non-pharmacists.

This week, the station broadcast two more installments in the Zurik series, all six of which can be viewed by clicking the links below. Please take a moment to watch and share each of these reports and the accompanying articles with the folks in your community as we work to bring these matters to the attention of the public and lawmakers.

Zurik: Copay or you-pay? Prescription drug clawbacks draw fire

May 4, 2016 - Mr. Zurik’s initial report centered on PBM clawbacks, exposing how certain PBMs charge patients a co-pay that is higher than the drugs actual costs. Of course, due to restrictions in their contract, the pharmacist can do nothing to inform the patient of the lower-cost cash price available to them unless specifically asked by the patient. The subject of this article tie in directly with LIPA-sponsored Senate Bill 131, which would allow pharmacists to begin telling patients if their medication would be cheaper to buy without insurance, a practice currently forbidden by most PBM contracts. Part 1→

Zurik: United/Optum defends prescription 'overpayment program'

May 9, 2016 - A series of emails FOX8 received from a subsidiary of United Healthcare raises more serious questions about the country's largest health carrier. As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, United says its charging customers a copay for some drugs. But in actuality, that copay is a “you-pay” - United charges more than the cost of the drug. Zurik dissects United’s statement in this follow-up to his Medical Waste investigation. Part 3→

Zurik: Brand name med costs are a tough pill to swallow

What's the real difference between brand name meds and their generic counterparts? Local pharmacists tell us many pharmaceutical companies are charging different prices for essentially the same product. Lee Zurik of Fox 8 New Orleans conducted a sort of experiment to make consumers aware - and perhaps quench their thirsts at the same time. Part 5→

Zurik: Cassidy slams drug cost clawbacks, demands transparency

May 5, 2016 - In his Thursday report, Lee sat down with U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana to discuss the lack of drug pricing transparency and strategies for fixing these issues legislatively. Sen. Cassidy (R-La.) asked for copies of the receipts Zurik had received from pharmacists and said, "This receipt is worth a thousand words." Cassidy is a physician and a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Part 2→

 

Zurik: The Kind of Drug Prices That Make People Sick

May 11th 2016 - Insurance costs for prescription medications are greater now than the costs for physician services. Patients are taking a hit in their bank account, whenever they go to the pharmacy. And some patients simply can't afford their meds anymore. Big Pharma blames high research & development costs - but Mr. Zurik’s findings in this report suggest otherwise. Part 4→

 
Zurik: Pharmacists, customers nationwide coping with clawbacks

The Zurik investigation has revealed some of nation's biggest insurance carriers are forcing customers to pay a premium on some prescription drugs, charging them more than the actual cost – “clawing back” money from the pharmacy and customer. Now, some customers are finding better, cheaper options. Part 6→

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