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BILL WOULD DRAW MILITARY AWAY FROM LOCAL PHARMACIES

Published Online: Sunday, July 1, 2007   [ Request Print ]

Under new legislation sponsored by Rep Gus Bilirakis (R, Fla), the Pentagon would be directed to "motivate" military personnel and their families to obtain prescription drugs through the TRICARE mail-order pharmacy program. The bill would establish a 2-year pilot program, during which several thousand beneficiaries who currently obtain prescriptions for maintenance medications from only retail pharmacies would be encouraged to switch to the mail-order option by having all copay requirements dropped for getting their prescriptions by mail.

The National Community Pharmacists Association expressed concern to Congress that such a bill would "force our?military personnel?and their families away from their trusted community pharmacy, effective denying them the important face-to-face patient care that ?pharmacists can provide." The group supports language in a separate Senate bill that would extend the same discounts that are currently allotted to mailorder prescription companies to community pharmacies as well.

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