NACDS praises Texas law for ensuring access to pharmacy-based care

The new law prioritizes patient health and patient access, protecting Texans’ ability to receive pharmacy services from their chosen pharmacy provider.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is hailing the enactment of Texas House Bill (HB) 1919 — legislation that will enhance Texans’ access to convenient care by helping protect their ability to receive pharmacy services from the pharmacy provider that best suits their individual needs.

HB 1919, which became law in Texas on June 18, will become effective on Sept. 1, 2021 and will apply to pharmacy benefits managers’ actions that take place on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

NACDS noted that the law will help maintain patients’ right to choose a pharmacy provider by prohibiting health benefit plans and PBMs from directing patients to use any particular pharmacy provider over another.

Specifically, the measure prohibits PBMs from exclusively requiring the purchase of pharmacy services through a certain mail-order pharmacy or imposing a monetary advantage or penalty under a health benefit plan that would affect a patient’s choice of pharmacy.

“The enactment of House Bill 1919 is a major victory for the patients that community retail pharmacies serve,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “The new law will help ensure the continued viability of pharmacies in Texas so that pharmacies’ doors stay open to serve the unique health-and-wellness needs of Texans in every corner of the state. NACDS sincerely thanks Gov. Greg Abbott (R), State Rep. Cody Harris (R), State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R) and the Texas legislature for advancing crucial legislation, which will help ensure the continuity of care by ensuring patient choice.”

HB 1919 is the second piece of PBM reform legislation enacted in Texas this year. In May, Gov. Abbott signed into law House Bill 1763 — legislation that improves patients’ access to prescription drugs by helping to ensure that Texas pharmacies are fairly and adequately reimbursed for the pharmacy-based services and prescription medications they provide.