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      Valley pharmacists fighting against managed care take over

      Nario Cantu is having a hard time celebrating 41 years of Cantu's Pharmacy's existence in Edinburg with Managed Care Organizations planning to take over for Medicaid.

      "We TMll have to reduce staff and services."

      Some 30 percent of Cantu's customers are on Medicaid and with the state attempting to outsource Medicaid to managed care in the spring, he could lose his business.


      It takes about $10 to fill one prescription at a pharmacy, Cantu says he currently gets a little more than $6 for each from Medicaid, but under managed care, he'll only get $1.35 in reimbursement.

      That's going to cause a lot of pain for pharmacies and their customers down the road.

      "We won TMt be able to get them in and out of the pharmacy as quickly as we do now. They depend on us to delivery the prescription to them for free."

      Right now, Cantu gets 15 cents for every Medicaid prescription he delivers.

      After managed care, not a cent.

      Cantu says the state's attempt to recoup money is just going to cost the medical field 10 times more when his customers have nowhere else to go to get well.

      If I close down, they will have to go to another pharmacy which will probably be backlogged because of the massive increase in customers and will take longer to get the medicine to the patient and they TMll just get sicker.