ALEXANDRIA, Va. — New Senate legislation introduced Tuesday that would restore consumers’ ability to use pre-tax dollars from flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines without first seeing a doctor has been jointly endorsed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.
NACDS and NCPA are part of the Health Choices Coalition, which sent a letter of endorsement to the bill’s leading sponsors. “Consumers depend on OTC medicines as a first line of defense for their families’ health care needs,” the coalition wrote. “OTC medicines provide Americans with effective, affordable, convenient and accessible means to address their health care needs. These medicines save consumers billions of dollars annually through reducing unnecessary doctors’ visits, less time lost from work, and the cost advantage of OTC medicines.”
The legislation, S. 1647, repeals section 9003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, restoring the ability of those participating in a medical savings account to use the funds to purchase OTC medications. Nearly 50 million Americans participate in FSAs and other health savings accounts, Roberts noted.
Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., and John Barrow, D-Ga. Similar legislation passed the House last year.
The bill was cosponsored by Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and Dean Heller, R-Nev.