Client News

Tampa Bay Times: Don’t cut pharmacy access

Monday, January 30, 2012

Medicaid – Don’t cut pharmacy access

“Med desert” is a relatively new term used to describe communities, both rural and urban, that lack basic access to health care services. Access can come in the form of hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and even pharmacies. For many in Florida, pharmacy access might be a thing of the past.

That’s because the state’s decision to shift to managed care programs for Medicaid patients could have a devastating impact on pharmacies in the state, and could cut off patients from their needed pharmacy care. The loss of pharmacy access will further exacerbate the health care isolation felt already by many Floridians.

What will Medicaid patients have to do when they lose access to local pharmacies? They’ll be told to order their prescriptions by mail. Mail order might be a great option for someone who has time to wait before they need their prescription, but for someone who needs medication tonight or over the weekend, and is in need of the counsel of a medical professional, mail order isn’t going to work.

Pharmacies are a great asset to this state. Removing them from the choices for our most vulnerable patients is shortsighted and will backfire in the long term and result in health care costs rising.

Leke Alli, Tampa

« Return to News