NCPA Urges Gov. Tom Corbett to Sign Pharmacy Choice Legislation into Law



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Alexandria, Va. - Oct. 22, 2012 The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is urging Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett to support S.B. 201, legislation that gives patients greater choice of pharmacy for their prescription medication needs and supports Keystone State jobs. The bill was carefully crafted to avoid increasing costs to the patient, health plan or state government—a fact that was verified through an independent, non-partisan analysis.

"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 healthcare and medication needs, at absolutely no additional cost to the individual or healthcare system," NCPA said in a letter to the governor. There are 1,000 independent community pharmacies in Pennsylvania, which provide an estimated 10,600 jobs and boost state and local tax revenue.

S.B. 201 has been unanimously approved by both the state Senate and House and has the support of health insurance plans as well as retail pharmacy organizations. In addition to its benefits for patients and the Commonwealth's economy by keeping more health care dollars in the state, NCPA believes this legislation takes important steps towards leveling the playing field between large pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and local community pharmacies, small businesses which are vital job providers and economic engines.

Four out of five patients prefer to use a community pharmacy and the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Pharmacy Study found "growing patient dissatisfaction with mail order pharmacies." Yet many health plans require or subsidize the use of out-of-state mail order pharmacies.

S.B. 201 would allow independent community pharmacies and other pharmacy providers to match the reimbursement terms, pricing and conditions that mail order pharmacies, typically owned by PBMs, negotiate exclusively with health insurance plans. In a non-partisan, independent review, Pennsylvania's Senate and House Fiscal Note determined that S.B. 201 "will have no fiscal impact to the Commonwealth."

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.5 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40 percent of all retail prescriptions, and employ 300,000 people, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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