By Bob Katzen

The House 6-149, rejected an amendment that would repeal a current law that prohibits doctors from storing and dispensing some prescription medications directly to a patient.

Amendment supporters said Massachusetts is one of only four states that still bans this practice. They argued that the amendment would save patients money by eliminating a layer of middlemen and allowing doctors to offer prescription drugs at wholesale costs. They noted that patients will save a trip to the pharmacy and argued that studies indicate that compliance rates among patients will increase.

Rep. Nick Boldyga (R-Southwick), the sponsor of the amendment, did not respond to repeated requests from Beacon Hill Roll Call for a comment.

“Direct dispensing would eliminate the vital screening and counseling services performed by pharmacists at local pharmacies,” said amendment opponent Rep. Adrian Madaro (D-East Boston). “Decentralizing the dispensing of drugs to consumers away from pharmacists to thousands of doctor and clinic locations should not occur without more careful consideration by experts. The amendment would have added unnecessary confusion to well-established policies under the current legislation.”

(A “Yes” vote is for allowing doctors to store and dispense some prescription medications directly to a patient. A “No” vote is against allowing it).

Rep. Christine Barber No Rep. Mike Connolly No Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven No

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