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Anthem Caves


Editor's Note: Today's article comes to us from guest columnist Thomas DeLorenzo, following up on a story reported last month in Positive Frontiers.

Apparently having HIV/AIDS isn’t a big enough problem on its own, you also get to have all sorts of ignorant people get in the way of your health care, simply because they want to make a buck, or because they are scared.  Last fall, Anthem Blue Cross, working with its business partner and owner of its pharmacy benefits management, Express Scripts, announced that as of January 1, 2013, all HIV/AIDS related medication were going to be covered only if you went through Express Scripts mail order service.  Anthem allowed that one could still go to the local pharmacy, but only if they were willing to pay full price for their medication. 

Talk about a corporate slap in the face.  One of the most crucial relationships a person with HIV/AIDS can have is the one they have with their pharmacist.  It’s the one person you are going to see regularly, several times a month probably, who can see how your health really is, and notice any problems before they become nightmares.

I am grateful for my pharmacist.  I go to West Knoll Pharmacy in West Hollywood and I could not imagine having UPS replace them.  They explain, they question, they notice, and they care.  I am not a number to them – I am a person.  And, more importantly, they are on my side, fighting with me in the trenches to make sure this virus does not do any more to me than it already has. 

 Even though I am not an Anthem client, I am not out of the reach of Express Scripts wrath.  My provider, Cigna, sold their pharmacy benefits management to Express Scripts a few years ago.  So far, they have only made one of my partner’s drugs mandatory mail order.  And, yes, they have made several mistakes with that order since that policy’s existence. 

Read the rest of the story at Positive Frontiers. 

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