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Letter: Mail-order drug plans expensive

Suffolk officials who oversee the county's employee health

Suffolk officials who oversee the county's employee health plan have asked Comptroller Joseph Sawicki to conduct an audit to find out whether $17 million in expected prescription-plan savings will materialize by next year to avoid a new budget hole. Credit: Bluestocking

It's no surprise that the $17 million in prescription-plan savings expected by Suffolk County officials may never materialize ["Suffolk health plan audit," News, Nov. 12].

Prescription benefit management companies are fleecing America with a business model laden with secrecy and deception. Their tactics fool even the most savvy buyer of prescription benefits.

Suffolk County and its police union bought into one of the biggest poison fairy tales promulgated by the prescription benefit management industry: that mandatory mail-order will save money. Prescription benefit managers own the mail-order pharmacies and enjoy the robust profits derived from steering business to themselves, a clear conflict of interest.

Numerous studies have shown that a mail-order pharmacy rarely saves the payer money, and this method creates a disconnect between the patient and quality pharmaceutical care. The best scenario is medication from a pharmacist and not the postal service.

It's time for Suffolk County and every other buyer of drug benefits to seek a prescription benefit manager with a transparent business model and, for their employees' sake, to educate themselves about prescription benefit managers.

Donald J. Cantalino, Brightwaters

Editor's note: The writer is a past president of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York.