Rafferty Bill to Improve Access to
Community Pharmacies Headed to Governor
Harrisburg – Legislation sponsored by Sen. John Rafferty
(R-44) to improve access to community pharmacies was approved by the General
Assembly this week and is now on its way to the Governor for his signature.
Senate Bill 201 requires health insurance companies, Blue Cross and Blue
Shield plans, and government sponsored pharmacy benefit programs to allow
patients to use retail community pharmacies, if the retail community pharmacies
agree to accept the same pricing, terms, conditions or requirements related to
the cost of the prescriptions and the quality of care as are established for
mail order pharmacies.
"This legislation will provide consumers with the
opportunity to use retail community pharmacies, at the same cost to insurance
companies, Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, government programs, and employers
as currently incurred when using mail order pharmacies," said Rafferty.
According to retail pharmacists, leveling the competitive
marketplace will also decrease health care costs by promoting more effective
face-to-face consultations, avoiding the waste often associated with dispensing
only long-term supplies of medications, and promoting more effective medication
"While some consumers prefer to use mail order pharmacies,
surveys of consumer preferences indicate that most patients prefer the
convenience and personal service offered by community pharmacies and often
develop trusted relationships with their local pharmacists," said Rafferty.