NCPA Commends BB&T Corporation for Preserving Employees' Choice, Rescinding Mandatory Mail Order Requirement for Prescription Drugs

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Alexandria, Va. - Jan. 11, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today applauded BB&T Corporation's recent decision to reemphasize and continue its employees' choice in filling their maintenance prescriptions, including at independent community pharmacies.

"Many small businesses, including independent pharmacies, have found BB&T to be a trusted business partner and ally of local enterprise," said Executive Vice President 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 health care services to these patients.

"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."

The revised policy was communicated to BB&T employees last week. 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.

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 alternative cost-savings solutions, such as maximizing the appropriate use of generic drugs. Community pharmacies consistently dispense generic drugs at rates 10-13 percent higher than the largest mail order facilities.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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