The National Community Pharmacists Association hailed a recent decision by financial services firm BB&T Corp. to drop its plan to institute mandatory mail order for employees' maintenance prescriptions.


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NCPA sways BB&T to forgo mandatory mail for Rx

January 12th, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association hailed a recent decision by financial services firm BB&T Corp. to drop its plan to institute mandatory mail order for employees' maintenance prescriptions.

NCPA said Tuesday that BB&T communicated the revised policy to its employees last week and noted that the banking company decided to keep its current maintenance prescription drug program in place to give employees choice in where they can fill prescriptions — including at independent community pharmacies — as well as to show its support for local businesses.

"Many small businesses, including independent pharmacies, have found BB&T to be a trusted business partner and ally of local enterprise," Kathleen Jaeger, executive vice president and chief executive officer of NCPA, said in a statement. "We appreciate BB&T leadership taking this step, which will benefit its 30,000 employees, their families and their communities in 12 states. In return, independent pharmacists look forward to continuing to provide expert, personalized medication counseling and other cost-saving health care services to these patients."

In November, NCPA said, BB&T began notifying employees of a broad program utilizing a mandatory mail-order plan. In response, NCPA contacted BB&T to request reconsideration of the policy based on an alternative savings strategy.

To that end, NCPA discussed the value of neighborhood pharmacies to local communities; detailed shortcomings in mandatory mail-order plans and cost estimates; and proposed alternative cost-savings solutions, such as maximizing the appropriate use of generic drugs. Community pharmacies consistently dispense generic drugs at rates 10% to 13% higher than the largest mail-order facilities, the association said.

"There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction where patient health is concerned," Jaeger added. "NCPA is proud to have shared an open dialogue and worked with BB&T to continue the current program. We thank BB&T for listening to pharmacists' concerns. Hopefully, other corporations will come to see the value of continuing their outreach to community pharmacists and supporting local businesses, particularly in today's economy."

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