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Missouri bill would allow pharmacies to decide what medicines they keep in stock

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New legislation passed by the Missouri House will allow pharmacies to control what medicines they keep in stock, which will hopefully help them save money.

Since medications have expiration dates, keeping un-used prescriptions ultimately results in a loss of money for pharmacies.  When they return expired medication they often get only a portion of their money back.  They might even have to pay a fee for destroying that medicine.

Those are expenses pharmacies say they'll no longer have if the bill becomes a law.

The Pharmacy Bill passed Tuesday plans to ensure pharmacies have the right to decide what medications will be stocked.  The bill is now going to Governor Jay Nixon's desk.  We don't yet know whether he will sign the legislation but says he will read and review it before making a final decision.

Some opponents of the bill were concerned that it would make some contraceptives less accessible.  But some local pharmacists tell us they're glad to have more freedom to stock what they choose.

Surplus can be a good thing for a business, but it can also be expensive.

"As a business, you have to control your inventory because that is profit loss," says Kelli Kinzer, a pharmacist with Pronto Pharmacy in Webb City.  "So anything we aren't required to keep is good.  We don't want to keep anything that by chance we aren't going to use, we don't have the customer base that's going to use that medication."

"Why should every pharmacy keep XYZ drug when all of a sudden it will put a burden on their financial and also the same token, you'd like to go to somebody who is knowledgeable in what you need," says Dan Priest, the operational manager for Lakeland Pharmacy.

Pronto Pharmacy is a small pharmacy and says it's known for it's quick service in filling prescriptions.

The owner says due to the local clientele, the pharmacy know what prescriptions they need to have in stock.

It's good for us because we are not required to keep certain medications," says Kinzer.  "We try to keep only things that are needed by our customers or that are requested by our customers."

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