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New Economic Impact Study Examines Costs Of Prescription Requirement in Missouri

Missouri Wonk Study Predicts A Total Cost of $43 Million In Additional Healthcare Costs

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Missouri Wonk, a St. Louis based public policy research firm, today released a new economic impact study conducted by the firm's president and founder, Brian Schmidt. The study, which was supported by a grant from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), examined the potential costs associated with a proposed prescription requirement for popular cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE)—such as Advil Cold & Sinus, Claritin-D, Mucinex D and Sudafed—in the state of Missouri. In recent years, a number of Missouri lawmakers and other leaders have pushed for a prescription requirement in order to combat the state's methamphetamine problem (meth criminals often misuse PSE products to manufacture meth).

Highlights from the Missouri Wonk economic impact study:

  • The net impact of a prescription requirement— more than $43 million in additional health care costs— will be distributed across the Show-Me State's health care system, affecting consumers, private insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid. The additional $43 million in health care costs consist of:
    • More than $5 million in consumers' out-of-pocket expenses;
    • An additional $17 million in costs to private insurance companies, which are likely to be passed on to consumers;
    • An $11.6 million increase in Medicare costs, borne by the federal government; and
    • More than $4 million in additional Medicaid costs, split between federal and state governments
  • In addition, the policy change will impact Missouri in other ways, including:
    • The economy as a whole could lose an estimated $8.5 million in worker productivity from the additional physician office visits associated with obtaining a prescription for pseudoephedrine products;
    • Missouri state government will pay an additional $1.6 million in Medicaid expenditures;
    • Missouri could realize an estimated $700,000 decrease in state sales tax collections; and
    • There will be an estimated 477,000 additional physician office visits

"When I set out to examine the potential costs of a prescription requirement, it was critically important to me that we get it right," said Brian Schmidt of Missouri Wonk. "Our goal was to provide Missouri policymakers with an objective and evidence-based analysis that would assist them in developing sound legislation designed to tackle Missouri's meth problem. There is no question that the General Assembly should pass bills to address the meth problem, but I think it's important that any legislation be balanced with potential economic consequences for consumers, employers and the state as a whole. I think our study effectively demonstrates that the costs associated with a prescription requirement are significant by any standard."

Brian Schmidt started his career in the Missouri General Assembly as the Executive Director of the Joint Committee on Tax Policy. During his six years with the committee, he assisted legislators in researching, developing, and crafting legislation focusing on state and local tax matters. While with the committee, Brian earned a Master of Public Affairs degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia's Truman School of Public Affairs where he published two papers on Missouri tax policy.

Brian currently teaches a graduate class on Organizational Theory and Leadership at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. Additionally, he serves on the Governor's Tax and Incentives Strategy and Implementation Team of the Missouri Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth. Brian formed Missouri Wonk in 2011.

This study was conducted independently and funded by a grant from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA).

SOURCE Missouri Wonk

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