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Pharmacists urge N.Y. governor to sign mail-order pharmacy bill

Legislation would prevent insurers from requiring mail-order use

NEW YORK — Pharmacists are urging New York governor Andrew Cuomo to give the green light to legislation that would prevent health insurers from requiring patients to receive their drugs via mail order, according to published reports.

According to the reports, local pharmacists said at a press conference that the bill would help stop losses of pharmacies and jobs.

Still, pharmacy benefit managers and the Federal Trade Commission have opposed the bill, New York Assembly Bill 5502-B, which has passed in both houses. In a letter earlier this month responding to state Sen. James Seward's request for comments, the FTC said the bill would raise the price of drugs and reduce access to them, as well as limit a health plan's ability to steer beneficiaries to such mail-order vendors as pharmacy benefit managers that may offer lower prices that use financial and other incentives if a competing retail pharmacy is willing to fill prescriptions at "comparable prices." The intended purpose of the bill is to help patients choose where they fill prescriptions.

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