NCPA backs Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association has expressed support of legislation that seeks to overturn two provisions in the Obama healthcare law that limit a patient’s choice in how to use consumer-directed health savings plans.

The NCPA said Friday it supported the Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act, which was introduced to the House and Senate by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. The legislation would repeal the requirement for patients to obtain prescriptions for over-the-counter medications when using their flexible saving accounts and health saving accounts.

"We want to thank Sen. Hutchison and Rep. Paulsen for their strong leadership in attempting to restore the ability for patients to purchase OTC medications through their FSAs and HSAs without the inconvenience of first having to get a prescription from a doctor’s office,” said Kathleen Jaeger, NCPA EVP and CEO. "Until this year, these commonplace and inexpensive drugs for treating pain, allergies and other ailments were not subjected to this unreasonable requirement. We call on Congress to pass these companion bills as quickly as possible."