Contact CVS and Demand They Get Out of Our Doctor's Office and Supply the Cancer Drugs Our Doctors Prescribe

CVS Pharmacy is hurting millions of cancer patients by refusing to sell, after January 2017, some cancer treatment drugs, like Tasigna for leukemia, Xtandi for advanced prostate cancer and the chemotherapy treatment drug Neupogen.

CVS claims these drugs cost too much and that there are cheaper alternatives. This is NOT true. There is no drug that are an alternative to Xtandi. Their claims are a lie.

They claim that Zytiga is an alternative, it is not. Zytiga has a different mode of action.

We need both of these life extending drugs.

CVS should not be sitting with us in our doctor’s office deciding on what drugs would be best for us based only on their economic bottom line.

Get CVS out of our doctor’s office. CVS is not our doctor.

CVS is putting profit over our care.

As Daryl has asked, tell them that it is their obligation to follow our doctor’s orders and not to second-guess the decisions we make with our doctors. We pay insurance premiums so that they will supply us the drugs we require, that is the contract.

If CVS can make money by selling cheap cosmetics and imported cookies, then CVS can make money off of lifesaving drugs.

Now, it’s up to us, our families and friend to make phone calls, write letters or send emails to change the course of this wrongheaded move. I have made it clear that I will not go into any CVS store and buy anything from them unless they reverse this terrible position.

Join me and so many others and tell CVS’ Medical Director to sell all FDA approved cancer drugs, not just the ones that give CVS the most profit. Contact CVS at:

troyen.brennan@cvshealth.com

401-770-4801 and 401-651-3137

Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Director

CVS Health

One CVS Drive

Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895

Get your family and friends to also reach out to Dr. Brennan and CVS.

9 Replies

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  • Hi

    I called local pharmacy not aware. If they are doing this we - anyone who has cancer - must come together and file a class action. There are enough of us and many philanthropist out there who would support this. Is there other ways we can get the word out? This is the biggest pharmacy in the country. If anyone did this it would be the beginning of the next step for passive euthanasia Thanks

  • John, I have heard from them. The individual who I spoke with told me that he is trying to work out a system for exceptions and to grandfather anyone who is already getting Xtandi. I told him that was not acceptable, people should not have to jump through hoops and apply for an exception to get Xtandi. This is not acceptable. He indicated that he would get back to me before Thanksgiving.

    We need to continue to swamp them with phone calls and emails to be sure that they hear us. If we don't get it placed back into formulary I do have another next step in mind, but we all will need to join together to make it work. So, please send your emails and make the phone calls (actually do both). Also have friends and family join in, we need for CVS to understand that this decision will cost them and if necessary we will find a way to impact their cookies and candy profits.

    Joel

  • I have a plan with silverscript whcich has its own formulary with Medicare part D and I get my meds thru Walgreens. There's plenty of competition for CVS.

  • I don't get it. What is their motivation?

    I think the pharmacy portion of their business has been under recent economic pressure. See: fool.com/investing/2017/06/...

    Is the real reason that they are just simplifying their SKUs to reduce costs on the pharmacy side of their business?

    I had to go to a specialty pharmacy to get Leukine. Walgreens just didn't carry it. Maybe that is the best solution. Just going to a specialty pharmacy.

    It maybe is not such a good idea to use a pharmacy that is looking for ways to cut costs. They are likely cutting costs in areas you can't see. For example buying pharmaceuticals through channels where you are more likely to happen upon counterfeit drugs. Or just not caring about proper temperature control during storage or shipment.

    Walgreens used to source all their pharmaceuticals direct from the manufacturers until a few years ago when their loser of a CEO was desperate for financial results, so they outsourced that part of their supply chain.

    I talked to a Walgreens pharmacist about this. He was embarrassed about it. He knew nothing good could come of it.

    Personally, I never ask anyone to do something they don't do. Even if you succeed in getting them to do it, it seldom works out well.

    Maybe we need to find a specialty pharmacy and throw all our business their way.

  • We’ve been getting our drugs; Xtandi, lupron, leukine, etc. from Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy in Michigan for years. Efficient and easy to deal with. CVS could never provide us with those drugs. I’m surprised to hear that they once had them.

  • There is a petition on change.org that covers this topic. It could use some more signatures.

    change.org/p/cvs-pharmacy-p...

    You can add your own comment to the petition. Listed below is what I wrote.

    “I have advanced prostate cancer. They lie when they say that there are other drugs that work the same way as Xtandi. Me and 27 friends, neighbors and family will boycott CVS until they change their policy. If I die before then, they will never set foot in a CVS store again.

    Dr. Walter Ohrbom”

    Dr WHO (not a MD)

  • The real issue is that the big pharmacies are cutting corners. And doing so in areas where you can't see.

    Someone above mentioned Walgreens outsourcing it's sourcing to intermediaries instead of buying from manufacturers. The only way that reduces costs is it permits counterfeits to trickle in.

    I don't see any way to stop this except to make these chains accountable. And that will never happen in the current political climate.

    Sitting back and signing petitions is BS. How many of you actively campaign for non-Republican candidates? How many? Well big pharma spends a lot of money buying votes.

    Quit blogging and complaining and take real action.

  • Well the only thing I agree with you is big pharma. There are 35 drugs the CVS no longer covers, including Xtandi. This is the result of extra large price increases, often well over 100% from big pharma. The argument that there are cheaper alternatives is just a smoke screen. That is where our agreement ends.

    Talking to our neighbors about the CVS’s stand on Xtandi, or getting the internet to talk about it is not a waste of time. It is a form of pressure. I do not view people boycott CVS, contacting their representatives on this matter, writing letters to the editor as self serving complaining. As Joel stated, we need to swamp them with letters, phone calls, eMails and (my addition) petitions.

    As for “republicans vs non-republicans “, please note that there are a large number of republicans on this sight. Let us not degrade this site (which, if I am not mistaken, is on the internet) to a senseless bashing of other people’s political views. Let’s keep the focus on prostate cancer and it’s effect on survivors and caregivers.

  • "please note that there are a large number of republicans on this sight"

    Yes I know. And I am getting the healthcare that they deserve.

    "Let’s keep the focus on prostate cancer" Healthcare is a political subject.

    This is so generally. And this is so specifically with respect to drug pricing. Who exactly do you think blocked Medicare from negotiating drug prices?????? Who? Who? Who?

    If someone wants to bury their head in the sand, we are not supposed to talk about cause and effect?

    You want change in laws governing distribution of medicine. A petition on change.org isn't going to do that.

    A vote in support of your local Republican "free market" representative whose belief system demands laws and policies that discriminate against older patients with pre-existing conditions.... will get you discrimination against older patients with pre-existing conditions (everyone with prostate cancer).

    This post is about policy.

    Sheesh.

    In closing all I can do is quote an oh so eloquent statement by a famous Republican "Keep your government hands off my Medicaid". LOL

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