Alexandria, Va. - April 28, 2011
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour signed into law Mississippi S.B. 2445, which reauthorizes the Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act and requires pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to be subject to oversight by the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy. In response, B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Executive Vice President and CEO, issued the following statement:
"This common-sense law received almost unanimous support in the Mississippi House and Senate. With Governor Barbour's signature this week, he has positioned his state as one of the leaders in providing badly needed oversight of out-of-state PBMs, which often engage in questionable business practices that have occasionally resulted in legal fines. The interests of patients and small businesses are best served by putting these giant corporate prescription drug middlemen under the control of the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy.
"The PBMs lobbied furiously against the bill, which is why we felt an obligation to also weigh in on behalf of the 441 Mississippi independent community pharmacies and the thousands of patients they serve in a letter we sent to State Representative Mark Formby last month. Our hope is that other states will follow this approach, because it will ensure that a premium is placed on transparency and fairness and not the size of PBMs' profit margins. It makes sense to have PBMs subject to Board of Pharmacy oversight, since pharmacists, drug manufacturers and distributors are already under their control."
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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