Legislators Seek to Curb Closed Rx Networks
Rhode Island lawmakers voted to open "closed" pharmacy networksthroughout the state despite charges that the "freedom of choice" legislationcould lead to higher prescription drug prices for patients and taxpayersin the state. The bill approved by Rhode Island's House allows third-partyhealth plans to continue taking bids from pharmacies to participate in theirnetworks, but once the winning bid is accepted all pharmacies in the statewould be eligible to participate in the plan under the same terms.
Advocates of the "any-willing-provider" bill pushed the measurethrough as pro-consumer legislation. They argued that Rhode Islandersshould be allowed to have their prescriptions filled at the pharmacy oftheir choice.