WOONSOCKET, RI- In research that covers ground long ago broken, drugstore operator CVS Caremark announced today that higher prescription prices result in fewer people buying prescriptions.
"A new survey of retail pharmacists revealed that cost remains a key barrier to medication adherence" says the opening line of a news story that I swear to God I am not making up.
The company commissioned IntelliQHealth to do an online survey of its retail pharmacists, which many experts say is a sign of the company's willingness to let the facts take them wherever the truth is to be found. Almost every Nobel prize in economics has been won by doing online surveys of your own employees.
More than 2,400 CVS retail pharmacists responded to the online survey, which is noteworthy not only for the earth shattering conclusion that people don't like to spend their hard-earned money, but also because it is believed to be the first time in the history of the company it has ever listened to the pharmacists it employs.
"They shouldn't get used to it" Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS said in an imaginary interview. "Our plan is to become known as a company that is willing to spend its time and resources to acquire a firm grasp of the obvious, which is far preferable to our current reputation as a company constantly under investigation."
Sure enough, at press time The U.S. Justice Department's civil fraud division has announced an investigation into whether instances of the company automatically enrolling customers into its readyfill refill program without their consent constitutes Medicare fraud.
"As cost continues to be a barrier to medication adherence, we need to find ways to help educate patients about their options," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, a company that would charge $49.59 for thirty paroxetine 20 mg tablets, a prescription that would cost $4 at a Target store.
Exactly what type of education would be required to convince a customer to plunk down $46 for the privilege of going to a friggin' CVS remains to be determined, but "we are determined to find out" Brennan didn't say. "because the alternative would be to lower our prices to the point where we are competitive with other pharmacies, which let's be honest here, is never going to happen."
"Money money money money money!!!!" concluded Brennan, before walking off mumbling something about whether round shopping cart wheels result in more purchases than square ones.