ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Thursday its support of legislation that seeks to repeal a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires consumers to obtain a prescription to use their flexible spending accounts for over-the-counter medication purchases.
The Restoring Access to Medication Act was introduced by U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., and Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
"This provision makes it more costly and more burdensome for millions of patients to obtain approximately 15,000 cost-effective, over-the-counter medications," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "On a bipartisan basis, members of Congress have raised legitimate questions about whether this new restriction was the right way to go, and this legislation would answer that question in favor of cost-effective patient care."
More than 35 million Americans rely on FSAs or other tax-deferred accounts for their basic healthcare needs and services, and an estimated 19 million use them for purchasing OTC medications.
"By enacting this common-sense bill, Congress will lift an onerous burden on patients, pharmacies and healthcare providers, and restore American families' convenient access to effective, affordable and convenient healthcare products for their healthcare needs," Anderson added.
NACDS previously endorsed similar legislation (H.R. 605/ S. 312), introduced by U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, which repeals the prescription restriction and restores consumers' access to tax-deferred accounts for OTC purchases.