Letter to the Editor Regarding “Mom and Pop Pharmacy Bill”

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As submitted to the New York Times

Dear editor-

Your recent editorial opposing a bill to restore the patient's choice of pharmacy ("Mom and Pop Pharmacy Bill," Sept. 23, 2011) omitted several important points.

New York sends billions of dollars in jobs and tax revenue out of state each year to mail-order pharmacies owned by "middlemen" pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). State bill 5502-B simply empowers consumers, not the PBMs, to choose their pharmacy, be it mail order or a local pharmacy willing to accept comparable pricing.

Additionally, the Obama administration has questioned the value of PBMs by proposing to cut them out of the federal employee health plan to save $1.6 billion.

Why should New York continue to enrich these out-of-state corporations whose purpose is in question? Further, if the PBM mail order programs are as effective as they claim, why do they need to make them mandatory to begin with?

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