BB&T rescinds mandatory mail Rx proposal, drawing praise from independent pharmacies

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The nation’s top independent pharmacy group is hailing a recent decision by a major corporation to maintain freedom of choice of where its employees fill their maintenance prescription medicines.

The National Community Pharmacists Association today applauded BB&T's decision to reemphasize and continue its employees' choice in filling their maintenance prescriptions, including at independent community pharmacies. The revised policy was communicated to BB&T employees last week.

“Many small businesses, including independent pharmacies, have found BB&T to be a trusted business partner and ally of local enterprise,” said NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger. “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 healthcare services to these patients."

In November, 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. NCPA discussed the value of neighborhood pharmacies to local communities, detailed the often-overlooked shortcomings in mandatory mail-order plans and cost estimates and proposed such alternative cost-savings solutions as maximizing the appropriate use of generic drugs.

BB&T decided to keep its current program in place for maintenance prescriptions “to provide choice to employees and to show its support for local businesses,” NCPA noted.

“NCPA is proud to have shared an open dialogue and worked with BB&T to continue the current program,” Jaeger said. “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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