Pennsylvania legislation would ban mandatory mail order

State Senate, House bills would prohibit payers, PBMs from requiring mail-order use

PHILADELPHIA — Bills proposed in Pennsylvania's state legislature would allow patients to have their prescriptions filled through mail-order and at community pharmacies for the same price.

House Bill 511 and Senate Bill 211, which promoters said are designed to give a "booster shot" to local pharmacies and save jobs, are the latest episode in what appears to be a growing battle between pharmacy benefit managers and retail pharmacies.

The bills would amend a state insurance law to prevent payers and PBMs from requiring patients to use mail-order. In addition, it would forbid payers and PBMs from imposing extra charges or other special requirements if they don't obtain their drugs through mail-order or limits on the drugs they can obtain through retail pharmacies.

The bill's restriction on requiring patients to use mail-order is similar to legislation in New York that has passed both houses of the state legislature and is awaiting a signature or veto from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile, the proposed merger between PBM giants Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions has met vigorous opposition from retail and specialty pharmacy groups.


- 11:27 AM says

I believe this is an excellent idea. There is no reason for consumers to have to use mail order. Why should community pharmacy be put at risk. it is all about choice and that is what America stands for. I look forward to seeing my local pharmacist for advice and answering questions. That voice on the phone from someone who I have no idea who they are will not be missed. Finally some government agency looking out for the consumer

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