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NCPA urges Pa. governor to sign Rx choice bill
October 22nd, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is urging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to support state legislation that would give consumers more leeway to choose to go to a local retail pharmacy instead of being required to use a mail-order pharmacy for their prescriptions.
NCPA said the bill, S.B. 201, has been unanimously approved by Pennsylvania's Senate and House and is supported by health insurance plans as well as retail pharmacy organizations.
S.B. 201 would allow community pharmacies and other pharmacy providers to match the reimbursement terms, pricing and conditions that mail-order pharmacies — typically owned by pharmacy benefit managers — negotiate exclusively with health insurance plans, according to NCPA.
Besides providing benefits for patients and Pennsylvania's economy by keeping more health care dollars in the state, the legislation would help level the playing field between large PBMs and independent pharmacies, small-businesses that are key job providers and economic engines in the state, NCPA noted.
"Quite simply, S.B. 201 is a significant step in the right direction for supporting local Pennsylvania jobs, increasing local tax revenue and providing citizens of Pennsylvania with the freedom of choice as to where they access their health care and medication needs, at absolutely no additional cost to the individual or healthcare system," NCPA stated in a letter to the governor.
According to NCPA, Pennsylvania has about 1,000 independent community pharmacies, which provide an estimated 10,600 jobs and boost state and local tax revenue.