Your friendly neighborhood pharmacist gets screwed

Your friendly neighborhood pharmacist gets screwed

Pharmacists are America’s most trusted profession, and the federal government has abused that trust in the rollout of the Medicare drug benefit. From the Boston Globe:

Faced with the prospect of senior and disabled customers going without life-sustaining drugs, many pharmacists have given out tens of thousands of dollars in medication. As the bills for those drugs came in from their wholesalers, pharmacists have had to pay them… As weeks passed and the enrollment problems mounted, [Pharmacist] Ferlita took out a $40,000 loan to help pay the drug wholesalers who wanted their bills paid now, not when the hoped-for Medicare payments arrived.

There’s no guarantee the pharmacies will ever get paid back. Of all the negative consequences of the Medicare drug benefit, this is one I didn’t expect.

February 5, 2006

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