Statement on Governor Wolf’s Proposed Tax on Over-the-Counter Medications and Vitamins
The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA) is concerned with Governor Wolf’s proposal to subject over-the-counter (OTC) medications and vitamins to the state sales tax. FDA approved OTC medications are often much needed, front-line medications and frequently the most common and least expensive way patients receive care. FDA approved OTCs have been proven safe and effective and should be accessible at a fair price to the patient. The further imposition of a tax on these medications only establishes a potential barrier to their use and may ultimately cause a financial impact on other areas of health care delivery.
The expansion of OTC access to many popular prescription drugs has saved patients billions of dollars in prescription drug costs and eliminated the inconvenience of obtaining a prescription. FDA approved OTC drugs have made it easier and cheaper for patients to obtain treatment and relief for common ailments. Subjecting such OTCs to the state sales tax, may reverse this trend and have patients either not purchasing the medication or obtaining the same medication through a prescription, with neither alternative being desirable and resulting in unnecessary insurance claims or increased emergency room visits potentially compromising care.