Buyers Can Demand Drug Price Info
Buyers can demand drug price info COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio consumers may now demand to know the cost and strength of prescription drugs before they are prepared for sale by pharmacists. The law, effective today, is designed to make it easier for consumers to comparison shop for drug, products. Previously, pharmacists were under no legal obligation to disclose prices. "The Federal Trade Commission has discovered that the price of a single prescription drug could and does vary as much as (KKrper cent between pharmacies in any given community," said Rep. Vernon Cook, D-39 Cuyahoga Falls, sponsor of the legislation. "It is apparent that when consumers are sick, weak and disabled, they are possible victims of a well- coordinated ripoff, and it is for this reason that I have proposed this legislation." the Summit County lawmaker said. The law does not go as far as Cook intended when he introduced legislation. Originally, the bill required pharmacists to post drug prices in drug stores, either on signs or in loose leaf notebooks. That provision was softened to merely permit the State Board of Pharmacy to prepare and distribute without charge .to phar-: macies a poster showing a list of 100; most widely used and dangerous drugs. The poster would go only to. stores that request it. In addition to disclosing drug prices on demand of a purchaser, the bill also requires pharmacies to include price informatidn in any advertisement of dangerous drugs. "The legislation is intended to serve as a foundation from which Ohio can extend its interest in the affairs />f consumers concerning the marketing of prescription drugs," Cook said, suggesting he views the measure as only a first step. Another consumer-oriented measure sponsored by Cook took effect Thursday. It calls for publication of an Ohio Administrative Code, a compilation of all rules and regulati.ons adopted by state, agencies and state institutions. The code must be published and available to the general public by next July and new rules will be added as they are adopted by state departments and printed as supplements. While not recommended for late night reading, the code is supposed to give citizens a reference work on the inside workings of the state bureaucracy.