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CHPA endorses legislation to restore OTC inclusion in FSA and HSA plans without a prescription


WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Friday endorsed the Restoring Access to Medication Act (H.R. 2835) introduced by Reps. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., and John Barrow, D-Ga., which would repeal a requirement enacted into law as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that requires consumers to obtain a prescription in order to utilize their flexible spending arrangements and health savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines.

To use the money they have set aside in their tax-preferred accounts to purchase OTCs, consumers now have to seek time with a doctor to obtain a prescription for a nonprescription medicine and then submit a receipt of the purchase for reimbursement under an FSA or HSA account.

“The Restoring Access to Medication Act will put consumers back in the driver’s seat and also provide savings to our medical system,” Jenkins said. “Folks are already facing higher premiums, and requiring an unnecessary prescription for aspirin only costs families more. Congress should be doing everything we can to mitigate the negative effects from the president’s healthcare law, and this bill helps do just that.”

The bill is supported by the Health Choices Coalition, which represents physicians, consumers, retailers, manufacturers, pharmacies, pharmacists, patients, pharmacy benefit managers, small businesses and employers in an effort to stop the unintended consequences resulting from the ACA restriction on OTCs.

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