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Originally from: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/2055715/detail.html
 
Drug Legislation
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution On Prescription Drug Legislation
Georgia -- 

For the first time, Georgians may be able to receive their prescription drugs through the mail from pharmacies located in the state.

However, this will only benefit some Georgians. In an attempt to appease Georgia's storefront pharmacists, mail-order prescription legislation has been crafted so narrowly that it excludes all Georgians except the 275,000 members of Kaiser Permanente who use the HMO's 12 medical center pharmacies to fill their prescriptions.  

"We didn't want to step on anybody else's toes," said Evonne Yancey, Kaiser's director of government and community relations. "We did not want this legislation to be a threat to retail pharmacists."  

Kaiser, which is forced to mail prescription drugs to its Georgia enrollees from Oregon, expects speedier, cheaper deliveries and customer convenience. At a time of soaring health care costs, led by prescription drugs, the nation's biggest private drug purchaser predicts an average savings of $3.50 per mail-order prescription.

Georgia's pharmacy lobby is reluctant to give an inch. It's vigorously opposing even the Kaiser-specific legislation, which has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in a House committee.

Retail pharmacists cite bogus "safety" issues such as drugs melting in mailboxes as if retailers' pills are currently coddled in refrigerated trucks. But the bottom line is that Georgians watching their mailboxes aren't customers making impulse buys in the drugstore.

Even if the General Assembly passes this baby-step bill as it should the rest of Georgia won't have the option of getting drugs mailed from the neighborhood Eckerd, CVS or Walgreen's. Senior citizens, ailing individuals and even those needing birth-control pills or other maintenance prescriptions refilled will continue to choose between a lengthy wait for an out-of-state delivery or the inconvenience of a trip to the local pharmacy.

It's patently unfair and protectionist for the retail pharmacists to hinder any Georgian's access to cheaper drugs, all because they want to sell another gallon of milk or bag of potato chips.


 

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