Supporting independent pharmacists and protecting consumer choice

George D. Maziarz

March 02, 2011

Senator George Maziarz joined with independent pharmacists from around the state today to promote legislation he introduced (S.3510) that would prohibit health insurers from requiring prescribed drugs be obtained from mail order pharmacies.

“Consumers, as well as businesses and unions that purchase health insurance for their employees and members, should be free to fill prescriptions in the most cost-effective manner that meets their health and financial needs,” said Senator Maziarz.  “We should be embracing transparency and freedom of choice, and that is why I am urging my colleagues to support this bill so consumers can make their own decisions whether to go through mail order or through the neighborhood pharmacy to fill their prescriptions.”

Major employers and unions have already begun shifting away from mandatory mail order prescription requirements in policies they offer their members and employees because they have learned that promises of deep discounts made by Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) do not hold up in practice, and because of increasing complaints against out-of-state mail order firms.

“It is time to fight back against out-of-state pharmacy benefits management companies that resist transparency and deny customers freedom of choice in meeting their prescription needs,” said Dave Stachnik, a Rochester pharmacist and president of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY).

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Insurance Committee.