IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND AROUND TOWN
by The White House Bulletin
November 21, 2014
Source: The White House Bulletin
NCPA Study Calls For Repealing Taxes On Over The Counter Medications.
Americans could save nearly $2 billion a year if Federal and state taxes on over the counter medications were repealed, according to a study by Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. Under the Affordable Care Act, over the counter medications are not eligible for reimbursement through health savings accounts. Yet, Herrick says that OTC medications have a multitude of benefits, including being less expensive that prescription drugs and not requiring a physician visit. The study showed that only 1 percent of health spending is for OTC drugs each year. And “many OTC drugs are $10 or less and will last for months. By contrast, the average price for a name-brand prescription was $268 in 2011, compared to only $33 for a prescription filled with a generic drug.” Herrick says that using OTC drugs reduces office visits and therefore saves money. He points to a survey that showed that at least 10 percent of office visits were for conditions that could have been treated at home. “Americans save themselves (and the health care system) $6 to $7 for every $1 spent on a nonprescription drug,” according to the study. NCPA urges Congress to consider repealing taxes on OTC medications. “Considering the immense benefits of convenient access to nonprescription drugs, it makes little sense to erect barriers to their use,” said Herrick in a statement. “Congress and the states should repeal taxes on nonprescription drugs. The benefits (and cost-savings to the health care system) will far exceed the foregone revenue.” – Bulletin exclusive from US News