Demonstrations statewide called on Governor Cuomo to support controlling prescription drug costs.
Local pharmacists gathered at the Medicine Shoppe in Camillus. Some are upset about the use of Pharmacy Benefit Managers. They serve as a middle man between pharmacies and insurance companies or drug makers. The increased cost is forcing some businesses to shut down.
Legislation would regulate PBM's ability to increase prices or substitute medications without approval. It would also allow pharmacists to tell patients about lower cost options.
"I would be able to serve more patients that are currently forced to go to mail order,” said Medicine Shoppe Owner Mike Machen. “It would be good for the patients to come here where we can provide them a higher level of service than mail order or big box pharmacies."
Machen says 70-percent of independent pharmacies had to cut hours and lay off employees. If the bill is not passed, He believes more will do the same.
The bill has passed in the Assembly and the State Senate.