Religion Magazine

Proposed Law: Pharmaceuticals Everywhere!

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beyteynu) has proposed a law that would allow people to fill their prescriptions in any pharmacy to his or her choosing. The proposed law would do away with limitations placed by the various Kupot Cholim forcing patients to fill many prescriptions using the "in house" pharmacy and would allow the prescriptions to be filled at external pharmacies, including private pharmacies and those managed by other Kupot Cholim.
The purpose of this proposal is two-fold:
1. to allow the patient more choice and flexibility in filling the prescriptions.
2. to protect the private pharmacies who are hurt by the limitations of exclusivity placed by the Kupot Cholim
With the Kupot Cholim doctors often giving digital prescriptions, accessible only by "internal" pharmacies within the network, this law would also force the Kupot to also give regular old-fashioned prescriptions that can be taken to external pharmacies.
If this law passes it will cost the Kupot a lot of money. They will need to reimburse the external pharmacies the monies above the government coverage and the patient copay at higher rates than they normally pay for the medicine at the discounted rates they receive for the internal pharmacies. They also might lose their discounted rates as they will not be buying the same large amounts of medicines as patients will be going to other pharmacies.
They will also lose out on the upsells - patients forced to go to Kupa pharmacies also buy other items that are sold at the same time, instead of going to a second store to get them. If the patients can go to other pharmacies for the medicines, they will have no reason to go to the kupa pharmacy and not only will the kupot lose out on the medicines, they will also lose out on the various upsells.
They oppose this proposal because they say it will cause them a catastrophe from a financial perspective.
source: Behadrei
It remains to be seen if this will pass, bu the kupot seem to have some serious claims. I think most of the issues can be worked out. Increased competition is always better for the consumer. The consumer would be able to choose where to buy his or her medicines based on convenience and price and whatever other factor the patient takes into account. The kupot will have to carry more medications to have available for a broader base of customers, as their own pharmacies will no longer be accessible to only their own patients but also to patients of other kupot. This could be a win win, if they can make adjustments to the proposal to satisfy the kupot a bit more.
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