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KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Fighting for the Little Guy

On Thursday, May 18, I will strike a blow for New York State residents who are forced, by their health insurance policies, to use prescription benefits managers (PBMs, aka mail-order drug companies). I will testify at a public hearing, held in the Bronx by state senator Jeff Klein (34th senatorial district), sponsor of bill S7610, referred to the Labor Committee of the New York legislature, that would allow state residents to choose where they get their prescription drugs.

How did I end up on the list of consumers who will testify at the hearing? Frank Giancamilli, community liaison for Sen. Klein, found my blog entries about Express Scripts' ineptitude while he was doing research for the bill. He e-mailed me to ask me to testify. I was so glad to have the chance to help that I rearranged my work schedule, working two weekends in a row to make sure my projects are taken care of before I testify.

If this bill becomes law, it means freedom, people! It means freedom from insanely inept and corrupt companies such as Express Scripts, the third largest PBM in the United States. This is the joke of a company that has many times lost or delayed filling my husband’s and son’s prescriptions for medications that treat their attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), making life crazy at my house. (You can read all the gory details here, here, here, and here.) It delays filling or loses my prescriptions for Paxil (which I take so that I can survive the House of AD/HD), for clonidine (which treats my hypertension and restless leg syndrome), and for medication that treats my hypothyroidism. If this bill becomes law, my husband Ed and I can take our family’s prescriptions to the local pharmacy, where we can watch people we trust put the proper medications into bottles for us immediately. No longer will I have to spend a good amount of time calling and e-mailing the Express Scripts jokers to prod them into doing their jobs—taking two weeks to fill and ship the prescriptions that they manage not to lose. These people are under investigation in 19 states for fraud, but their lobbyists have convinced legislators in New York State to quash similar legislation for consumer choice in the past.

If you live in New York State, have to deal with PBMs, and can get to the hearing (on May 18, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. at Mercy College, 1200 Waters Place, the Bronx), please come and testify. At the very least, you’ll be entertained by the twilight-zone stories such as mine and that of the female heart patient whom Express Scripts sent Viagra instead of heart medication—and that’s no joke.

Part 2



TFLS said...

I just wanted to say good for you! You have the strength of your convictions, and you are willing to stand up for what you believe in. That makes you very special indeed!

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Hey, thanks bunches, FLS. My husband calls me Xena, Warrior Princess. I've been a crusader since I took my first professional job in '82, as a journalist. I just can't stand injustice. And there's the added lure, with this hearing, of learning about the story of the woman who was sent Viagra. ;-) My husband will be going with me. We joke that I'll just point to him and say, to everyone present, "And here's a live demonstration of AD/HD in action." :-))

erinberry said...

Hey, how did it go??

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thanks for asking, Erinberry. See Part 2, today's latest post.

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