Today’s NYTimes article “Pharmacists Fight The Rise Of Mail Order” begs an interesting question. Who should have the right to determine choice?
As the retail pharmacies imply, should they be able to legislate that payers (employers, government, insurance companies, unions) have to allow consumers to come to their location? That seems strange to me.
If the shoe were on the other foot and payers didn’t allow their members to go to mail order, would retail allow the PBM to ask the legislature to change that? (Maybe someone can show me examples of a PBM arguing for mail having to be an option with a client that doesn’t offer mail order.)
Maybe I’m missing something here. Doesn’t the person who is paying the majority of the bill (~80%) have the right to direct care to the lowest cost channel? If someone has an issue with that, shouldn’t it be the consumers talking with their employers?
Shouldn’t competition play out in pricing and value proposition not in the government?
I’ve never heard Chrysler go to the government and say that they had to stop a large employer from limiting their choice of cars for their executive to team to Ford products.
If my employer offers me a discount to Sam’s Club, can CostCo go and argue that with the legislators?
Wouldn’t that turn our whole free-market economy upside-down?
In my opinion, payers should be able to choose their network which could include a limited number of retail locations if that met their expectations on price, outcomes, access standards, and satisfaction. It could include mail or not. BUT, it’s their choice based on the options they have and their management of their spend. Why does government have a role here?