The Risks to Patients' Lives as Loose Regulation Allows for Poor Handling of Medications

How would you feel if this was How you found the life-saving medications for you our your loved one?

A package of life-saving medications was left at the end of a driveway and far away from the door of a patient’s home. The outside of the package reads “perishable.” The warning of perishable is meant to warn the driver and handlers of the medication that the product inside of the package can ruin quickly. Currently, many patients are forced to only receive coverage of their medications through the mail as the mail-order pharmacy faces no repercussions for mishandling medications or leaving packages in extreme weather conditions. The lack of oversight in the handling of our medications can be life-threatening to the lives of patients.

Patient’s medications can ruin, become less effective, conditions can worsen, medications can be stolen which can result in patients going days without the medications they need to survive or function.

Patient’s lives are at risks each day the unsafe handling of medications is allowed.

Health plans contract with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to oversee the process of reimbursements and access to our prescription drugs. There is an 85% chance that a patient’s pharmacy benefits manager or PBM is Optum RX, CVS Caremark, or Express Scripts. The pharmacy benefit managers often force or steer patients to the mail-order pharmacy that is owned by the same company that owns the PBM. This should be a conflict of interest and patients are already seeing the repercussions of less competitive pharmaceutical options through their health insurance plans.

Many plans are now requiring patients to pay 100% if they would want to avoid mail-order and receive their medications the safest way, through the hands of their trusted pharmacist. Life-saving medications should not be handled so carelessly, and health plans, PBMs, and our employers should be prioritizing the safest way for us to receive our medications.

Unite for Safe Medications will be participating in a project over the summer to help raise awareness about the improper temperature control and handling of our life-saving medications and the results will be shared publicly on our site.

Thank you for your support!

Loretta Boesing