Schmitt Meets With Pharmacists
Rallying To Protest PBMs
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt spent Monday morning at a rally at the Empire State Plaza Concourse before the New York State of the State with area pharmacists to protect patient access to medical care. Big box stores and pharmacy chains forming conglomerates who are using “Third Party Benefits Managers” who drive many small town pharmacies out of business by their monpolistic practices. Many of these small pharmacies have been in business for generations and the people who live near them rely on the personal touch and understanding they offer these longtime customers, doing things like staying after hours to fill an urgently needed prescriptions and explaining dosages and potential side effects to those who are elderly or disabled. Rallies have been held at numerous pharmacies in Orange County and have attracted large crowds because of stores that have had to close and pharmacists who struggle to offer clients the medications they need to survive and thrive at a price they can afford. Schmitt held a rally this past Fall in Washingtonville that brought dozens of residents and several pharmacists from around the area. Yet a bill that was presented to Governor Cuomo was vetoed last month.
Both Assemblyman Schmitt and Senator James Skoufis decried the veto of a bill that Schmitt co-sponsored which would restrict these “Pharmacy Benefit Managers” from what amounts to price gouging that results in what is no longer a fair market. Skoufis called the practices “Highway Robbery” after a 6-month Investigatory Committee he chaired showed how these “middle management companies” pricing practices added unrealistic costs to small stores.
Caption: Assemblyman Colin Schmitt stands with Pharmacists protesting PBM Managers (Photo provided)