The Medco response to the article in which I was quoted in the November 17,
2006, issue is both disingenous and self-serving. Several days ago, I received
a letter from Medco asking me to review a patient's prescription and consider
changing the prescribed medication to another, less-expensive alternative.
Medco claimed that the patient would save money if I changed to Medco's
Do any of the thousands of physicians who have received similar letters
believe that Medco is only interested in saving money for my patient? Clearly,
its interest is its bottom line—decreasing its costs and increasing its
net profits by getting me to switch to a medication that costs Medco less.
To achieve this financial goal, Medco is asking me and thousands of other
prescribing physicians to devote their time, unpaid and not required by any
clinical considerations, to review its patients' medications for no real
reason other than Medco's bottom line.
Most prior approval requirements and other similar impediments to access to
medically necessary treatment are motivated by the same goal—increasing
corporate profits. Should we be grateful that Medco has developed policies
that require uncompensated physician time to fatten its bottom line? I don't