Sunday, January 18, 2009

David B. Snow, Jr. & Medco -- God help us

The more that I think about the possibility that our health care could be manipulated by a "corporate hack," the more I want to learn about David B. Snow, Jr. and his background.

I recommend that everyone "Goggle" this guy. Read about him. Learn about his pattern of activities.

IMHO, David B. Snow, Jr. (CEO of Medco) emphasizes:

1. marginalizing physicians and surgeons instead of respecting them as independent, highly trained medical professionals;

2. ignoring the importance of patient safety, proper medical care individualized to the patient and continuity of care.

Let's hear Mr. David Snow explain this:

Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Medco Health Solutions
Franklin Lakes, N.J.


Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Strategic Management

Medco Health Solutions, the largest pharmacy benefits management company in the United States, last week settled lawsuits brought by state and federal authorities by agreeing to stop switching patients over to more expensive drugs not prescribed by their doctors (these drugs were favored by Medco because of private “rebate” agreements with drug manufacturers). Medco also pledged to begin disclosing its rebate practices to employers, doctors and patients.


The American Heritage Dictionary

rebate: A deduction from an amount to be paid or a return of part of an amount given in payment.

kickback: A return of a percentage of a sum of money already received, typically as a result of pressure, coercion, or a secret agreement.


A strong case can be made that private rebates not fully disclosed are, in fact, kickbacks. Some may consider this to be a nitpicking, semantic argument. But what should alarm us all is that Medco’s Snow trivializes their abusive practices, for which they are being punished, by suggesting that the patients and employers who were cheated actually benefited because the kickbacks were really only rebates (with disclosure issues regarding the nefarious substitution of higher cost drugs for lower cost drugs).

David Snow should be issuing a public apology for the egregious abuses of his company. Instead he releases a statement implying that the only blame lies with others who use the pejorative term, “kickback,” when Medco was actually following sound business practices through the rebate program.

This seemingly trivial dispute has major policy implications. The Medicare bill prohibits the government from being the direct purchaser of drugs, but instead requires that middlemen, such as pharmacy benefit managers like Medco, maintain control of the pharmaceutical benefit. Not only do they add middlemen administrative costs, but they also expose us to the compromised ethics of unrepentant executives who believe that kickbacks awarded for making lucrative drug substitutions are actually good business practices since, really, they’re only “rebates.”

Medco CEO Unrependant for Ethical Lapses (May 2004)

Why on Earth is the HHS Secretary Nominee Daschle even entertaining this David B. Snow, Jr. yahoo as a serious contributor to the national health care debate?


  1. Please do a little more research before posting. The issues that caused the legal actions actually took place before Mr. Snow took office. Under David Snow direction Medco has become a leader in patient safety and providing lower cost options for many people out there with medication needs. Do a search for TRC pharmacies and Medco Mayo clinic personalized medicine. David snow should and Medco should be used in helping this country out of its medical crisis.

  2. As a matter of fat, I did more than just computer research (i.e. Google) David L. Snow Jr's name.

    IMHO, Snow is an opportunist who has contributed to the financial crippling of our health care system.

    Medco has taken the ridiculous requirements of pre-authorization and bureaucracy to a genius level.

    Snow was right there when our federal government was primed for a Medicare RX plan. It is a tremendous failure.

    Then Snow was right there (and remains there) to leap like a vulture on the idea of universal, single payer health care. His buddy Daschle could not help Snow get into the White House.

    But Daschle manipulated enough to get Medco BOD member DeParle into the White House.

    Snow had his chance with the Medicare RX system. He screwed that up and our country would be foolish to allow David L. Snow, Jr anywhere near a federal system of health care (God forbid we even have one).

    I appreciate your contribution to the blog.

  3. He has taken preauthorization to a nightmare level. My wife has been taking Provigil for fatigue related to an autoimmune disorder since November 2005. They have now denied coverage, and denied the appeal. Because her disorder is rare, the FDA has not approved Provigil for her disease. No FDA approval, no coverage. They suggest she use a cheaper, stimulant medication, even though it is contraindicated for someone who has had a stroke. BTW, you should look at their medical director, Lon Castle, who has been fined for not providing accurate information to the Ohio Medical Board to renew his license.