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Okla. Pharmacists Protest Change to Benefit Plan (Nov 30, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A plan to change the prescription drug benefit plan for thousands of state and education employees is drawing the ire of local pharmacists and state lawmakers concerned about the potential impact of the change.

Dozens of pharmacists and pharmacy students packed a legislative hearing on Wednesday to voice concerns that the move could decimate independently owned pharmacies across the state.

The Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board approved changes to its prescription drug plan that provides cost incentives for members to use in-network pharmacies and to use a mail-order service for certain maintenance drugs. The board projects the plan will save members and the system an estimated $15 million annually.

But local pharmacists contend the proposal will cost them jobs and lead to the closing of local pharmacies.


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