15 insurers urged to change specialty drug prescription policies

Fifteen insurers in New York are being urged to let certain members buy specialty drugs at retail pharmacies instead of through mail-order services, according to the state's attorney general office. In a letter to the insurers, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he wants them to change their policies so members with chronic conditions, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV, don't have to "suffer further hardship to get prescription drugs that are critical to their care." He called the mail-order pharmacy programs "unnecessarily burdensome," largely because prescriptions through the mail compromise privacy and can even spoil if they require refrigeration. "Every New Yorker deserves easy access to the benefits they pay for," Schneiderman said. The letter was mailed to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Independent Health, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, EmblemHealth, Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth and WellPoint. Statement