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Barhorst, Stewart Introduce Community Pharmacy Protection Act

April 25, 2024
Tim Barhorst News

COLUMBUS—State Representatives Tim Barhorst (R-Ft. Loramie) and Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) held a press conference to introduce House Bill 505, known as the Community Pharmacy Protection Act. The legislation will address pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices and the current state of prescription drug access in Ohio.  

The legislation will require PBMs to implement drug cost transparency measures to the superintendent of insurance, contracted insurers, and plan sponsors. The report will include an itemized list of the actual cost of each drug from claims processed by PBMs.

“Community pharmacies across the country are being bankrupted because of a system that requires them to dispense pharmaceuticals at a loss,” said Barhorst. “Inevitably, this trend will lead to pharmacy deserts in all corners of Ohio. We need HB 505 to keep our mom-and-pop pharmacies in business and ensure healthcare access for all Ohioans.”

The legislation comes in response to numerous closures of small, local pharmacies shutting down across the state due to PBM practices towards drug supply chain reimbursements. Because of this middleman, pharmacies are operating at a loss and eventually must close.

“I have a lot of community pharmacists in my district who say they need help,” said Stewart. “These are good business people who have been in their communities for decades serving patients. We don’t want to have a situation where residents are driving significant distances to get vital prescriptions filled.”

The legislation awaits committee assignment.