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Oncologists Fight “Ludicrous” Restriction, as PBMs Complicate Issue

When the COVID-19 public health emergency expired, it ended a key exemption that meant that community oncologists were suddenly unable to use medically integrated specialty pharmacies to deliver medications by mail.

The fallout has been harsh for providers and patients, particularly for those who are living in rural areas and those who are frail. For nearly a year now, medical associations and oncologists have called for reform. They’re still waiting.

“It’s not patient-centric,” said Samyukta Mullangi, MD, MBA, medical director at Thyme Care and medical oncologist at Tennessee Oncology, in an interview with OBR. Forcing someone to have to come in to pick up their meds in person is just ludicrous, and it’s contributing to this wastage problem that we already are confronting in this country.”

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