Express Scripts CEOs remarks draw fire
NEW YORK A less-than-flattering assessment of pharmacists from Express Scripts Inc. chief executive officer George Paz has fanned the flames over his companys proposed merger with Medco Health Solutions Inc.
Paz, who is the companys chairman and president as well as CEO, remarked during Express Scripts fourth quarter conference call, Nexium is Nexium, Lipitor is Lipitor, drugs are drugs, and it shouldnt matter that much whos counting to 30.
Paz also said patients generally are able to change from one retail pharmacy provider to another with little or no disruption.
Steve Anderson, president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, noted that Paz and Medco CEO David Snow told Congress in recent hearings that they like pharmacists. Their comments about pharmacists in other settings may not rise to contempt of Congress, but they certainly meet the standard for contempt of patient care, said Anderson.
He added that Pazs comment rivals the insensitivity toward patients and pharmacists shown by Snow with his now infamous robots versus pharmacists comment. (Snow said in October that Medcos robots are 23 times more accurate than human pharmacists.)
Think about this. The implication is that we do not provide cognitive services so they won’t pay. Logically, if we DO provide cognitive services, they have to pay. They have set themselves up. A good attorney could make them squirm. You know my thoughts. We lose if you do not start counseling. Why would they want to pay you six figures for minding “The Mill”?
Medco CEO David Snow said at a Cleveland Clinic healthcare conference in October 2011, as quoted by Pharmaceutical Executive magazine: “I’m not dissing retail [pharmacy], but there’s a fiction that a pharmacist comes out and dialogues with you. In reality, a high school student hands you a script from the shelf.” He also said that Medco’s “robots” are “twenty-three times more accurate” than human pharmacists