Home News Barhorst and Stewart Unveil Community Pharmacy Protection Act in Ohio

Barhorst and Stewart Unveil Community Pharmacy Protection Act in Ohio


COLUMBUS – State Representatives Tim Barhorst (R-Ft. Loramie) and Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) convened a press conference at the State Capitol to introduce House Bill 505, known as the Community Pharmacy Protection Act. The proposed legislation aims to address concerns surrounding pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices and their impact on prescription drug access in Ohio.

A key provision of the bill mandates that PBMs implement measures for drug cost transparency, requiring them to submit detailed reports to the superintendent of insurance, contracted insurers, and plan sponsors. These reports will include an itemized breakdown of the actual costs of each drug based on claims processed by PBMs.

“Community pharmacies across the country are facing financial strain due to a system that forces them to dispense pharmaceuticals at a loss,” stated Representative Barhorst. “This unsustainable trend threatens to create pharmacy deserts across Ohio. HB 505 is essential to safeguarding the viability of our local pharmacies and ensuring healthcare access for all Ohioans.”

The legislation responds to a concerning trend of small, local pharmacies shuttering their doors across the state, attributed to the adverse impact of PBM practices on drug supply chain reimbursements. The presence of middlemen in the pharmaceutical distribution process has resulted in pharmacies operating at a loss, ultimately leading to closures.

Representative Stewart echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the importance of supporting community pharmacists who play a vital role in serving patients. “Many community pharmacists in my district have reached out for assistance,” he noted. “These are reputable business owners who have served their communities for decades. We cannot afford a scenario where residents must travel long distances to access essential prescriptions.”

As the legislation moves forward, it awaits committee assignment, signaling the beginning of deliberations on its potential enactment into law. The Community Pharmacy Protection Act underscores lawmakers’ commitment to addressing challenges within the pharmaceutical industry and ensuring access to vital medications for all Ohio residents.