Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Arm Consumers with Information on Prescription Drug Savings

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 Drug News J E 4

BOSTON, March 30 The Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association (MIPA) today announced the kickoff of a campaign aimed at educating consumers about a proposal to help save money on prescription medications. MIPA was joined by patient groups, pharmacists, and lawmakers at a Boston pharmacy, Tremont Drug, to highlight the fact that Massachusetts is the only state in the nation that bans the use of manufacturer discounts and co-pay assistance programs for the purchase of prescription drugs.

State lawmakers are working to change this by passing HB 4320, the "Prescription Discount Bill," which would permit the use of drug discounts and could bring thousands of dollars of savings to residents of Massachusetts. MIPA members across the state today started distributing information cards to customers, which direct consumers to a new website, where residents can find out more about the proposed legislation, what they can do to support it, and how it would put money back in their pockets.

"There are consumers every day who simply don't comply with their medications because they can't afford it," said State Representative Peter Koutoujian, lead sponsor of the legislation. "We're in a position to provide some financial relief and we should."

Todd Brown of MIPA added, "Independent community pharmacists have a long history of providing a higher level of service to the patients they serve. Helping them afford their medications so that they benefit from them is part of that relationship."

Gary Einsidler, owner of Tremont Drug in Boston, said he sees far too many customers who are disappointed that they can't save money on prescriptions, "Even individuals with insurance coverage have trouble affording their prescription medication. Allowing them to use coupons can help. Every single state surrounding Massachusetts allows these discounts, why wouldn't Massachusetts?"

MIPA teamed up with advocacy organizations from around the state including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Massachusetts Biotech Council and the New England Biotech Association to create the website, advocate for the legislation, and distribute the information cards to consumers at their pharmacy locations.

SOURCE Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association


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