Small Pharmacists Struggling to Stay in Business - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Small Pharmacists Struggling to Stay in Business

"I personally have to underwrite the business to keep it going until the funds come in. As a business grows it means we will have to pay more money", said Randy Wright, owner of Claude's Pharmacy. "I personally have to underwrite the business to keep it going until the funds come in. As a business grows it means we will have to pay more money", said Randy Wright, owner of Claude's Pharmacy.

Small, independent pharmacies across the country are struggling to stay afloat, financially. Many of them say they are waiting weeks to get reimbursed for the prescriptions they fill, but still have bills to pay.

"I personally have to underwrite the business to keep it going until the funds come in. As a business grows it means we will have to pay more money", said Randy Wright, owner of Claude's Pharmacy in Claude. The problem has to do with the new Medsicare Plan Part D. Part D allows patients to go to private insurance companies to fill their prescriptions. Those companies can sometimes take weeks to cut the pharmacies a check.

"I've been here since 1984 and there was never a cash flow problem", said Wright. A group of pharmacists is now urging Congress to pass a bill that would force insurance companies to re-pay for prescription refills in less than 30 days. Wright says the problem needs to be addressed soon before the Baby Boomer generation adds on to the Medicare program. "If we don't deal with it now, it's not going to work when there's more people, so it's going to have to be solved quickly, said Wright.

The insurance companies say they are being unfairly targetted, because the government and other private businesses get at least 30 days to pay doctors and hospitals. A study by the University of Texas confirmed the delayed repayments. The study looked at 3 million prescription drug claims submitted last year. They found that less than 1 percent of claism were paid within two weeks, while 44.1 percent were paid after more than 30 days.

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