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NCPA Backs Bill to Enhance Pharmacy Competition; Help Level Playing Field for Independent Community Pharmacists
Date:4/13/2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today welcomed the introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to allow patients to enjoy the benefits of greater competition among pharmacies and other providers of medical care by exempting health care professionals, including pharmacists, from federal antitrust laws for the purposes of contract negotiations with health plans. In response to the Quality Health Care Coalition Act of 2011 (H.R. 1409), NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement:

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"In pharmacy, as with any business, more robust competition results in greater benefits for consumers in terms of choice, quality and value. This bipartisan proposal would help extend to millions of Americans the fruits of a more competitive pharmacy marketplace.

"In today's health care system, every year we hear of patients being asked to pay more for their prescription benefit insurance and accept less – fewer benefits and curtailed access to community pharmacists. Special interests like the major insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, have implemented policies to grow their profits while stacking the deck against patients, pharmacists and other health care providers. For example, insurance plans and PBMs benefit from an antitrust exemption and have opposed efforts to grant the same status to doctors, pharmacists and others. This dynamic produces one-sided, take-it-or-leave-it contracts that impede true competition and enrich managed care companies.

"The competitive landscape is particularly inequitable in the pharmacy marketplace
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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