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"Prescription for Choice" Easy Pill to Swallow for Pennsylvania
Date:9/8/2011

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A proposed bill in Pennsylvania's Senate and House of Representatives is the "booster shot" local pharmacies need to compete with mail order prescription plans. The legislation allows individuals to have their prescriptions filled by either mail-order or their community pharmacist for the exact same price, which will result in keeping billions of dollars in Pennsylvania, while saving and tens of thousands of jobs throughout the state.

To inform consumers about this crucial piece of legislation and encourage them to contact their government representatives about having equal choice for their prescriptions, PARD, An Association of Independent, Community Pharmacies, is launching its "Prescription for Choice" campaign. Beginning on September 12th, area pharmacies such as Rapoport Pharmacy on Bustleton Avenue in Philadelphia will offer materials highlighting the value of working with a local pharmacist.

"A decision as important as how to order your medicine shouldn't be left up to the insurance companies, but rather firmly placed in the hands of the consumer," says Barry Jacobs, Executive Director, PARD. "Prescription for Choice is about putting the emphasis back on preference and convenience, rather than looking at the bottom line."

Currently, drug prescription benefits of health insurance plans heavily promote the use of out-of-state mail order companies, even charging individuals more to fill their prescriptions at a local pharmacist. This policy negatively impacts community pharmacies, as prescription volume accounts for over 90 percent of their business. Based on 2009 prescription drug data provided by IMS Health, a leading provider of information services for the healthcare industry, over $7 billion of economic stimulus leaves Pennsylvania due to the use of mail order drug companies. Not only does this policy create jobs out-of-state, estimated job losses in Pennsylvania will exceed 26,000.

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SOURCE PARD
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