Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 13, 2011
Addressing concerns over anti-mail-service pharmacy legislation, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that both Houses of the legislature have agreed to amend NY AB 5502-B, which prevents employers from offering discounts to encourage the use of the lower cost mail-service pharmacy option.
“Employers, taxpayers, and consumers appreciate Governor Cuomo’s admonition to the Legislature to improve this costly, anti-consumer bill,” said Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt. “In this economy, employers need every cost saving tool they can get and mail-service pharmacy is at the top of the list.”
In expressing concerns with the bill, Governor Cuomo noted that “both houses of the Legislature have agreed to pass amending legislation making several changes, including providing that the retail pharmacy must agree in advance to accept the same reimbursement rate and applicable terms and conditions established for mail order pharmacies. With the understanding that these amendments will be passed, I approve these bills.”
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care, The New York Health Plan Association, and the American Postal Workers Union all opposed this bill. According to a recent survey, nearly eight-out-of-ten small businesses want to be able to continue offering discounts that encourage employees to use the more affordable mail-service pharmacy option and consumers who use home delivery are strongly satisfied with it.
The Federal Trade Commission warned that NY AB 5502-B will “harm consumers” and “raise prices for, and reduce access to, prescription drugs.” And in an editorial, the New York Times says the bill looks like “a favor to retail drug lobbyists that could actually drive up costs for consumers.”
Even a lead lobbyist for the bill, Craig Burridge, admitted that it could raise costs, telling the New York Times that “drug plans negotiated by labor unions would be exempt from the law if the unions required members to use mail-order pharmacies as a way of saving money.”
Home delivery is popular with patients because it offers 90-day prescriptions that are less expensive and is more convenient than driving to the drugstore every 30 days. With mail-service pharmacies, patients can get private counseling over the phone from trained pharmacists seven days a week, 24-hours a day. Numerous other government and peer-reviewed data have confirmed the increased savings, safety, and adherence provided by mail-service pharmacies, including: