We hosted over 15 district meetings across the state, From Guymon to Altus. Over 20 Senators and 250 pharmacists joined us to hear about the interim study we presented in October 2021.
Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act
Senate Bill 821 by McCortney and Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, defines the term “pharmacy benefits management” within the Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act. The bill expands the prohibition on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) requiring customers to use pharmacies that are directly or indirectly owned by the PBM to include affiliates of the PBM. It prohibits contracts between a PBM and pharmacist from preventing the disclosure of the total costs for pharmacist services for a prescription drug or from selling a more affordable alternative to the covered person if such an alternative is available. It also prohibits PBMs from incenting or requiring customers to differentiate between in-network pharmacies.
Loretta Boesing’s Story
Loretta Boseing’s story focuses on her son who began rejecting his liver transplant after receiving mail-order medications that exceeded the recommended temperatures. Loretta quickly learned that mail-order prescriptions are loosely regulated. She tried to get her son’s medication from a local pharmacy but was denied due to PBM regulations. Loretta shared her entire story with NBC News.
Independent Pharmacies are Paid Less
We shared many examples of chain pharmacies being paid substantially more than an independent pharmacy for the same prescription. Specifically, data from 40 claims showing PBMs reimbursed out-of-state chain pharmacies $1,253.60 more than Oklahoma-owned pharmacies for the same medication. That’s an average of $31.34 per RX. Many New York Times articles shared specific chain pharmacies’ fines for high error rates in both Virginia and Oklahoma – CVS Fined for Prescription Errors and Poor Staffing at Pharmacies and At Walgreens, Complaints of Medication Errors Go Missing.
We believe these town hall meetings are essential to our grassroots efforts in Oklahoma. Thank you to all the pharmacists, senators and citizens who joined us and hear what changes we’re hoping to make in 2022.