Op-ed: CHPA, AMA call on Congress to repeal OTC Rx-only FSA provision

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association last week teamed up with the American Medical Association in a joint op-ed published in Roll Call that called for the repeal of the over-the-counter prescription requirement for flexible spending accounts.

"OTC medications save time and money for the millions of Americans who rely on them to treat many ailments and injuries," wrote CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville and AMA president Peter Carmel. "These medicines play an important role in our nation’s healthcare system, with almost 90% of physicians recommending patients try to address many ailments with self-care interventions, including the use of OTC medication, before seeking professional care."

In the article, Melville and Carmel point to the Restoring Access to Medication Act, which would repeal the prescription requirement, introduced by Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.; and Reps. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., and Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

According to an associated cost-savings study, $5.2 billion could be saved by consumers and taxpayers annually if only half of the some 10% of unnecessary visits, as reported by doctors, were avoided.

To read the op-ed in its entirety, click here.

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