Pharmacy Bill Has Many Benefits

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As published in the Times Union

The state Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly passed the anti-mandatory mail order prescription bill (5502-B) for good reason: It helps restore the patient's choice of pharmacy and supports local jobs and economies. ("Mail pharmacy bill would hurt consumers," letters, Sept. 17).

Mail order mandates ship commerce and tax revenue out of New York each year. This bipartisan bill prohibits insurance companies from requiring patients to use out-of-state mail order or punishing patients with punitive co-payments for going to a local pharmacy. Instead, patients could go to a community pharmacy that agrees to accept a price that is comparable to that of a mail order pharmacy.

Let the patient choose. Most will opt to fill prescriptions locally and speak face-to-face with a known and trusted community pharmacist. Others may decide mail order best meets their needs.

But if out-of-state online retailers are as great as they claim to be, why do they need patients and businesses to continue subsidizing them with New York's health care dollars in the midst of a tough economy?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should sign this bill into law.

B. Douglas Hoey
Executive vice president
and CEO National Community Pharmacists Association
Alexandria, Va.

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