Monday, December 27, 2010

OHIO residents: New rule starts Jan. 1, 2011 to prevent more than one Rx transfer

You can thank the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy (and those who lobbied them for the change they are putting into effect) for making a new rule effective Jan. 1, 2011 that makes it so Ohio residents can:
  • NO LONGER transfer a prescription more than ONE time.
Here's how you reach them:

Call: (614) 466-4143
TTY/TDD Ohio Relay Service: 1-800-750-0750
Fax: (614) 752-4836
William T. Winsley, Executive Director, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy
77 South High Street, Room 1702
Columbus, OH 43215-6126

Although the intent may have been two-fold by those who lobbied for this change:
  • Reduce the number of transfers of prescriptions (as encouraged by Rx coupons commonly available in competitive markets such as Columbus); and to 
  • reduce competition from stores that don't have both a NATIONAL (not just regional presence) and online, sharable, real-time prescription database.
There are many other ways people are negatively impacted.

  • ELDERLY who move to Florida or other warmer areas for the winter (after getting their prescriptions in teh summer) need to be able to transfer them TWICE -- once to move from the pharmacy most convenient to them here in Ohio and then again when Spring arrives and they return to Ohio.  Often these are NOT the same pharmacy (Kmart or Joe's Pharmacy may be most convenient here in Ohio while they use Rite Aid or some other place in Florida or Arizona or wherever).  In order to have it filled in Ohio again, they will have to have their doctor write a new prescription (which often requires they make a new visit and pay a new co-pay).  A work-around for the future would require that the elderly ask their doctor for TWO scripts for every prescription -- one to keep on file for when they come back in Spring and the other to use for the first few months and then transfer with them when they become "snowbirds."  Or else they can give in to being nudged into using the same pharmacy company in both/all locations (something with a national presence ... or at least both/all regions where they visit ... and that have the online, sharable, real-time prescription database as required in the law to allow transfers between stores of the same brand such as CVS after the first transfer is made).
  • Those who go to the pharmacy closest to their doctor/hospital at first and then move it to a pharmacy closer to their home but later in the year move location.  to a different location ... or WANT to move to another pharmacy because they're not happy at that store can NOT do so any more because of this new rule change.
  • Those who may have moved their prescription to a less-convenient location for an incentive -- such as to get a $10 gift card at Target, $30 in free gas at Giant Eagle, or $25 gift card/rewards at Kroger or CVS -- will discover they can NOT move it again after Dec. 31, 2010.  Their prescription will be stranded

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