Island Drug Urges Congress to Stand Up for Seniors’ Choice
Oak Harbor, WA-8/12/2014--Aaron Syring, owner of Island Drug / LaConner Drug, and the entire hard working staff, is urging Congress to stand up for seniors’ choice and access to medications in Medicare by supporting legislation that would give seniors in medically underserved areas more convenient access to discounted or “preferred” copays at any pharmacy that is willing to accept the drug plan’s contractual terms and conditions to participate.
“Patients ought to have the option to fill their prescriptions where they want to,” said Syring. “Health insurance middlemen should not be dictating to seniors where they can fill their prescriptions. Just as they have all of their lives, these individuals should decide for themselves, particularly in taxpayer-funded programs such as Medicare and TRICARE.”
Syring continued, “Many seniors choose my pharmacy because of our focus on customer service and many conveniences such as free same day home delivery of medications not offered by others. Consumers should choose what’s best for them without paying additional out of pocket expenses. I urge Congress to act quickly to provide this choice to seniors or their caregivers.”
Legislation that would allow any pharmacy in a medically underserved area to serve as a “preferred” provider has been introduced in Congress. H.R. 4577, the Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act, introduced by Representatives Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Peter Welch (D-VT) has earned more than 45 additional bipartisan co-sponsors as well as the support of consumer advocates such as the Medicare Rights Center, Consumers Union, National Senior Citizens Law Center, National Grange, National Rural Health Association, and HealthHIV. Furthermore, a recent opinion poll found support for H.R. 4577 from 76% of likely voters.
Additionally, an open letter to Congress expressing general support for “any willing pharmacy” collected over 130 signatories including the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the National Grocers Association (NGA), the Caregiver Action Network, National Alliance for Caregiving and the US Pain Foundation.
“We have seen this trend of reduced consumer choice continue. Most recently with TRICARE continuing to incentivize mail order versus the local economy as we have highlighted before, with NO cost savings to the tax payer.”, Syring recalled “The best thing we can all do is speak up that we wish to have the freedom to choose where to do business.”