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Pharmacy Choice and Access Now Coalition Urges Passage of Senate Bill 7 During Texas Legislature's Special Session
Date:6/2/2011

AUSTIN, Texas, June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) – a coalition of consumers, local businesses and pharmacists across the nation and Texas, committed to preserving quality and affordable health care – urges prompt passage of Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) in the current special session.  SB 7 contains numerous critical amendments that provide many necessary protections for Texans and their community pharmacies.  As final legislative consideration before the Texas Legislature took place at the end of the regular session, the PCAN coalition recommended additional policy measures that it deemed essential, such as open access pharmacy networks within a managed care framework, permitting users of Medicaid pharmacy services to continue to retain the option of being served by their community pharmacy rather than a mail order service, prompt pay for crucial pharmacy services, and full transparency regarding administrative and other fees charged by pharmacy benefit managers.

PCAN commends the Texas Legislature and – above all Representatives Zerwas, Pitts, Hopson, Brown, Sid Miller and Senators Nelson, Van de Putte and Hegar – for following through on their commitment to include provisions in Senate Bill 7 that help to protect Medicaid patient access to effective health care and pharmacy services across Texas. 

Tammy Gray, an independent pharmacist and spokesperson for the Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) coalition in Texas said, "Senate Bill 7, because of these pharmacy and patient protections, is a step in the right direction for pharmacists, patients and small businesses across the great State of Texas given the difficult fiscal conditions legislators have been forced to address this session.  Doing so will help to ensure open access networks, prompt pay for crucial pharmacy services, transparency regarding pharmacy benefit managers, and will allow patients to retain the option of obtaining medications directly from their community-based pharmacist rather than a mail order service.  We, of course, after SB 7 becomes law, commit to continuing to work with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to ensure that implementation of SB 7 is done in a manner that maximizes pharmacy protections for consumers and community-based pharmacies across the state."

The pharmacy and patient protection amendments contained in SB 7 will help to ensure that community-based pharmacies throughout Texas are afforded the protections that they, their patients and Texas taxpayers both need and deserve.  While PCAN believes SB 7's pharmacy and patient protection amendments are a step in the right direction, PCAN will continue to work to ensure additional safeguards are enacted during the remaining days of the special session and the administrative processes that will follow enactment of the legislation.  PCAN urges prompt passage during the special session.

About PCAN

Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) is a coalition of consumers, local business and pharmacists across the nation committed to preserving quality and affordable health care and pharmacy services for patients. We are committed to providing the most cost effective solutions in the areas of health care and pharmacy services to enable states around the country to help solve their budget woes while maintaining quality care for children, families and other Medicaid-served populations.

For more information on Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN), visit www.rxchoiceandaccess.com.


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SOURCE Pharmacy Choice and Access Now
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