Friday, December 16, 2011

Fallin Praises New Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs for HealthChoice Members

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin applauded an action taken today by the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board (OSEEGIB) that will save taxpayer dollars and reduce prescription drug costs for thousands of consumers in Oklahoma. The plan was originally submitted by the Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma (PPOk) as a way to reduce prescription drug costs while retaining a level playing field between local independent pharmacies, chains and mail service pharmacies. Total savings are estimated at $13.1 million per year for the state, as well as a total of $19.8 million in total savings for the 163,000 thousand prescription drug consumers currently enrolled in Health Choice plans.

Under the new proposal, Oklahoma pharmacists will offer deeper discounts on all drugs for Health Choice Plans resulting in savings to the plan and the members, which include many teachers, state employees, retirees, including all Medicare members, and their dependents. The new plan will result in an estimated 10% reduction in total prescription drug costs for HealthChoice members.

“Today’s agreement is a great example of how government can work with the private sector to find ways to save taxpayer dollars, lower the cost of health care, and support our local businesses,” Fallin said. “I applaud both OSEEGIB and our Oklahoma pharmacists for reaching this agreement and cooperating together on this complex and important issue.”

PPOk CEO Lonny Wilson also praised the new plan.

“OSEEGIB’s decision to accept the Community Pharmacy Proposal is a tremendous win for the Plan, the Participants, the State of Oklahoma, and Community Retail Pharmacies,” Wilson said.  “It provides savings to the plan, lowers total copayments and allows participants to choose the pharmacy of their choice without incurring copayment penalties.  Allowing 90 day dispensing of maintenance drugs from hundreds of community pharmacies provides optimum convenience and access to the many additional services provided by Oklahoma pharmacies.   Our thanks go out to OSEEGIB board members and management for putting Oklahomans first.”

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