Earlier this summer, the WMU-AAUP learned that, as of July 1, 2019 WMU had mandated that some prescription drugs accessed through Sindecuse were to be limited to 30-day quantities. The explanation was that Sindecuse Pharmacy had been losing money as a result of Blue Cross’s practice of under-reimbursing pharmacies for the ongoing, month-to-month prescriptions that many of us rely upon.
Even the incomplete list of impacted medications underscored the disturbing breadth of impact this would have: for example, asthma medications (Advair, Pulmicort, Combivent), depression (Viibryd, Latuda), blood thinners (Eliquis, Entresto, Xarelto), and several ophthalmic and GI/Bladder prescriptions.
The problem, as you may know, was that WMU’s proposed actions were in violation of Article 33.5.1 of the WMU-AAUP Agreement which states that: Prescription drugs will be available at the Sindecuse Health Center pharmacy with specified co-pay levels (e.g., $10, $20, etc.). It further states that “A ninety (90) day supply of maintainable drugs will be available for a 2.25x copay…”
In short, the Sindecuse prescription benefit is one for which the WMU-AAUP successfully negotiated – it is built into our contract – and cannot simply be unilaterally voided or reduced by WMU Administration. Consequently, we filed a grievance against WMU, after which WMU issued the statement below by email to the WMU community. We are proud of the hard work of Chapter leaders and staff on this critical healthcare issue, and grateful for the collaboration of vocal faculty colleagues. Solidarity and shared governance work!
Effective Tuesday, July 23, Sindecuse Pharmacy resumed providing all 90-day supplies of maintenance drugs. Those clients eligible for 90 days and supplied 30 days during the period of July 1 through July 22 will be contacted by Sindecuse and offered 60 days of additional medications at the difference of the 30- and 90-day-supply co-pays. If you are not contacted but feel that this impacted you, please reach out to Sindecuse for a further review of your account.
Diane K. Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs