Published Online: Sunday, July 1, 2007

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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