Community pharmacists in New Jersey will be required toreport their prescription drug prices to the state under a newlaw signed by the governor to promote prescription comparisonshopping by patients.
The statute creates an on-line Prescription Drug Retail PriceRegistry that will be maintained by NJ officials based on theprice data supplied by pharmacists. The registry, which will bemade available to consumers through the Internet, will providecost information, updated at least weekly, on the 150 most frequentlyprescribed drugs sold by some 600 pharmaciesthroughout the state.
In addition, the law requires that this comparison-price information also be posted inpharmacies. Prescription prices will beindexed by drug name, dosage, and ZIP code.
The new law was enacted in the wake of astudy by the NJ Health Care Quality Institutesuggesting that community pharmacy pricesfor prescription drugs vary by as much as 20%from store to store. State officials hope tohave the new price disclosure system in operationbefore the end of next year.