The Pharmacy Protection Racket – WSJ

Down one, five more. This week, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a reform bill that would allow doctors to dispense prescribed drugs directly to their patients. That leaves only five states – Massachusetts, Texas, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey – forcing citizens to go to a pharmacy instead of getting their medication directly from the doctor.

This competition and common sense win is the result of a lawsuit filed last June by the Institute of Justice (IJ) on behalf of three Treasury State doctors who seek the freedom to “deliver uncontrolled drugs directly to their patients at cost “To submit. Montana, like other states with similar prohibitions, has allowed exemptions for doctors if the nearest pharmacy is 10 miles or more away. And studies, such as a 2014 national assessment of prescription drug dispensing, have shown that getting drugs from a doctor is just as safe as it is from a pharmacy.

The Montana Pharmacy Association deserves credit for finally approving this legislation. Support for the new law grew after an association spokesman testified before a Senate committee that “protectionism was the root of our previous opposition to similar laws”. The same spokesman said another determining factor is the IJ lawsuit pending in the state court.

After the law was passed, IJ withdrew his lawsuit. But it has a similar lawsuit in Texas, and both Texas and Massachusetts are considering laws like Montana’s that would normalize a practice that is legal in most other states. As the Montana Pharmacy Association made clear, the only point of restriction was using government power to restrict competition – which harmed patients far more than doctors.

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