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Posts Tagged ‘Kay Morgan’

Limiting the Transfer of Prescriptions – Protecting the Pharmacy or Consumer?

Since Jan. 1, 2011 the Ohio Board of Pharmacy mandated that, with few exceptions, no single prescription can be transferred to a different pharmacy more than once a year. Pennsylvania is also considering the same. While I can appreciate that the Boards are trying control the abuse of certain narcotics, it is ultimately a serious infringement on consumers’ rights.

Consumers should have the right to shop where they want to shop. The government wouldn’t mandate what movie theaters and grocery stores we can choose – or that we’d have to wait a year in order to switch from JCrew to Banana Republic. The same rules should apply to the purchase of prescription drugs.

Some pharmacists have complained about unnecessary paperwork and the potential for miscommunication during transfers. A very wise friend, Ms. Kay Morgan, counters that technically, the prescription belongs to the pharmacy and not the patient – and that barring the transfer of a patient’s prescription has only driven pharmacists and/or patients to contact the physician for a new prescription, adding another layer of inefficiency (and even more paperwork!) to an increasingly messy and complex healthcare system.

Pharmacists are also not going to want to reject patients looking to have their prescriptions transferred and filled. For certain narcotics, obviously controls must be put in place. But the concerns listed by the authors of these “rulings” don’t really jive with reality in this electronic age.

I was enthused to see Ohio’s ruling reversed and hope all states follow their lead to keep consumers protected when it comes to prescription transfers – because according to William Winsley, executive director of Ohio’s pharmacy board, “Although pharmacists were pleased with the once-a-year-transfer rule, many consumers were not.”

It’s good to know that common sense prevails – one less hurdle to cross for the protection and expansion of cost transparency.