Georgia voters strongly oppose mandatory mail-order plans

February 21, 2012

A whopping 82% of 600 Georgia voters surveyed said they oppose mandatory mail-order plans.

A whopping 82% of 600 Georgia voters surveyed recently said they oppose mandatory mail-order plans.

The new survey – commissioned by the Georgia Pharmacy Association (GPhA) and conducted by Rosetta Stone Communications – will help pharmacists convey patient concerns about pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to state legislators, association officials said. This is the first year that PBMs are licensed and regulated by the state of Georgia.

“PBMs frequently belittle the complaints from pharmacies on behalf of patients. Polling the electorate is simply another method of keeping legislators informed about the real world, not what the PBMs report,” said Jim Bracewell, executive vice president and CEO of the GPhA.

The survey found that 64% of patients were not aware of PBMs or their impact on setting formularies and co-payment arrangements. Seventy-two percent of patients said it should be illegal for benefit managers to set different patient co-payments for PBM-owned pharmacies than they do for pharmacies in which the PBM has no financial interest.

The GPhA survey also found that, by a 3-to-1 margin, patients support allowing pharmacists to administer commonly needed vaccines. Georgia pharmacists gained the authority to administer influenza vaccines in 2008, but the state is still considering whether pharmacists can provide other vaccines.