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Good medicine

Dear Editor,

For those living in rural areas, local, independent pharmacies are our first point of contact in the healthcare system. They are not only the closest to us, with larger hospitals located closer to cities and metro areas, they are a part of our community and provide trusted healthcare information, helping to improve health outcomes immensely.

But to best serve the community and focus on patient care, independent pharmacies need help. Small businesses in the healthcare industry face a lot of administrative challenges, often taking pharmacists away from their primary responsibility of providing care to those who need it. That’s why they often turn to pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAOs).

PSAOs assist independent pharmacies by managing everything from reimbursements for prescription medications to inventory and data–all bureaucratic tasks that would otherwise take precious time away from these medical professionals. PSAOs even help in negotiations with entities like pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), who oversee reimbursements independent pharmacists are owed. PBMs are massive organizations and often create obstacles for small pharmacies, but fortunately, PSAOs are at their side every step of the way.

Contracting with PSAOs is completely optional for pharmacists who want the added benefits they provide. Their mission is to simply help pharmacists focus on what really matters: patient and community care.

Rural communities depend on local providers. Let’s support PSAOs in their efforts to allow pharmacists to do their jobs.

John Peterson,

Titusville,

Pennsylvania Member of Congress from 1997 to 2009.

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