SB 12A study on a Pharmacy Tourism Program

02/23/2021
SB 12A VOTE: NO
In Committee

Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/SB12
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2021R1/Committees/JWM/Overview

In Ways and Means, contact committee directly.

This bill was amended to a study on importation of pharmaceuticals or travel to Mexico and Canada for public employees.

Fiscal Responsibility. Costs of the study are estimated at $80,000 to $120,000 Other Funds, with half paid by PEBB and half by OEBB. PEBB’s costs are supported by the premiums paid by state agencies and universities, and the costs for OEBB are supported primarily by the premiums paid by the K-12 school system.

Limited Government. Changed from the Benefit plans offered by the Public Employees’ Benefit Board reimbursing for prescription drugs and travel for purchase in a pharmacy tourism program to a study of the possibilities and report to legislature by September 15, 2022. Making it a study doesn’t make it a good idea. The study also includes importing pharmaceuticals, which has been deemed unsafe to circumvent the U.S. drug system.

Below bill was gutted into a study.


This bill requires benefit plans offered by Public Employees’ Benefit Board and Oregon Educators Benefit Board to cover certain costs related to travel to Mexico or Canada to fill and refill prescriptions.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
Burdens taxpayers for a jet-stream prescription plan flying to pick up drugs that can’t be shipped into the US.

Fiscal Responsibility
The PERS system has an unfunded liability nearing $20 billion and sucks up taxpayer dollars with no end in sight. Adding a high cost pharmacy tourism program to the OPEBB will increase the burden upon taxpayers even more for a privilege that bypasses the protections of screening foreign drugs.

Limited Government
Benefit plans offered by the Public Employees’ Benefit Board that reimburse the cost of prescription drugs must include a pharmacy tourism program that allows an eligible employee or family member, who is not enrolled in Medicare, to fill and refill in Mexico or Canada 90-day supplies of prescription drugs specified by the board. The program must pay the costs of: (a) The specified prescription drugs; (b) Round-trip air travel to San Diego International Airport or Vancouver International Airport; (c) Transportation to and from a pharmacy designated by the board; and (d) An overnight hotel stay, if necessary. It doesn’t stop there. It requires the boards to coordinate the travel making them travel agents calling it a “pharmacy tourism program.”

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