(St. Paul, MN) – As the price of medication continues to rise, Senator Jim Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul) and others have been working hard to give consumers more choice as they fill their prescriptions.
Sen. Metzen has been part of a growing coalition of legislators trying to require that health companies allow people to select their own pharmacy or pharmacist without a financial penalty. Under the current law, pharmacies are able to require consumers fill and re-fill their medications through highly-specialized mail-order pharmacies or other outlets, which hurts local pharmacies and can be more costly to consumers.
“This issue was brought to me both by constituents and local pharmacies who are hurt by the current policy,” remarked Sen. Metzen. “It’s simply a matter of fairness. I’ve carried this bill in the past, and I’m proud to be a co-author this year as well.” As chair of the Commerce Committee, Sen. Metzen helped to shepherd the bill through the committee process, where it won wide bipartisan support.
The bill has been heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Finance Division, where it was recommended to pass. The Health and Human Services Omnibus bill now includes the provision, and the bill will be heard on the full Senate floor Friday afternoon. “This is the year,” commented Sen. Metzen. “Our local businesses and our consumers need it now.”
For more information, contact Bryan Wells at 651-296-5561.