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Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Pharmacy Board’s decision to start new rulemaking process for patient access to prescription medicines

For Immediate Release: July 15, 2010

OLYMPIA - Gov. Gregoire today issued the following statement regarding the State Board of Pharmacy’s decision to move forward on a rulemaking process regarding patient access to prescription medicines:

“I am not in agreement with the state Board of Pharmacy’s decision to reopen the rulemaking process which currently requires pharmacists to provide all legally prescribed medications to individuals. The rule, which the Board arrived at in 2006 through a complete and transparent public process, assures adequate access to medication, especially to rural and low-income communities.

“I am concerned that the Board appears to have a predetermined outcome in the new rulemaking process. I will not support a position that does not provide the same level of access, or better, than is currently offered. We cannot restrict access for patients. In rural parts of our state, eliminating access to medication could force people to drive miles to the next closest pharmacy, or simply force them to go without.

“Now that the Board has reopened the process, I hope it is again a fair and open public process that does not just serve the concerns of pharmacists, but represents the needs of all citizens of the State of Washington whom the Board of Pharmacy was appointed to serve.”

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