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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group that lobbies on behalf of independent pharmacies is urging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to sign a bill that would allow retail pharmacies to match the reimbursement terms, pricing and conditions that mail-order pharmacies negotiate exclusively with health insurance plans.
The National Community Pharmacists Association expressed hopes that Corbett would sign S.B. 201, which the Pennsylvania state Senate and House have unanimously approved.
"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," a letter from the NCPA to Corbett read.
The organization said there are 1,000 independent pharmacies in Pennsylvania that provide about 10,600 jobs, citing a Walgreens study conducted in April showing that 4-in-5 patients prefer community pharmacies over mail order, while a J.D. Power and Associates study indicates "growing dissatisfaction" with mail-order pharmacies despite many health plans requiring patients to use them. Most mail-order pharmacies are run by pharmacy benefit managers.
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