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Pharmacy organizations criticize Tricare decision

Pharmacy organizations criticize Tricare decision

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A group of pharmacy organizations, including the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Home Infusion Association, worry that decisions by Cigna and Express Scripts to eliminate the option for Tricare beneficiaries to obtain prescriptions at their pharmacy of choice will disrupt patient access to needed medications. 

In a letter to Amy Bricker, president of Express Scripts, and David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, the organizations argued that all pharmacies that were included in the 2022 Tricare network should remain in the 2023 network at the 2022 terms and conditions to protect beneficiary access to pharmacy care. 

“Tricare patients earned their benefits, and it is imperative that they retain convenient access to their health care providers, especially those with whom they have established, trusted relationships,” the letter states. “Independent community and specialty pharmacies take great pride in caring for those who honorably serve or have served in our armed forces. … The relationships between pharmacists and patients are built on trust, and for many patients is not something easily transferrable. Keeping patients’ trusted pharmacies in network is critical to the patients’ care.” 

Other organizations behind the letter include the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding, the American Pharmacists Association, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy and the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition. 

Express Scripts, the Cigna-owned pharmacy benefit manager that administers the Tricare benefit on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense, recently announced changes effective Oct. 24 that would shrink its retail pharmacy network by 15,000 pharmacies, mostly independent community pharmacies located in underserved rural and urban areas. The change impacts 400,000 beneficiaries, according to the NCPA.  

To view the letter to Bricker and Cordani, click here

Read NCPA’s appeal to the Department of Defense.


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