Julia Talsma is lead editor for Drug Topics magazine.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have endorsed legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to purchase OTC medications using pre-tax dollars from flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts without obtaining a doctor’s endorsement.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) have endorsed legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to purchase OTC medications using pre-tax dollars from flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) without obtaining a doctor’s endorsement.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) recently introduced Senate bill 1647, The Restoring Access to Medication Act. The act is supported by the Health Choices Coalition, including groups representing consumers, pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, health insurance companies, and employers.
“This issue is critically important to the estimated 19 million working Americans who rely on voluntary contributions of pre-tax dollars to FSAs to help meet their basic health care needs, including the purchase of safe, affordable OTC medicines,” the coalition stated in a Nov. 5 letter to the senators.
“These medicines save consumers billions of dollars annually through reducing unnecessary doctors’ visits, less time lost from work, and the cost advantage of OTC medicines,” according to the coalition.
The Senate bill is similar to H.R. 2835 that was introduced earlier in the year by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.).