Rep. David Derby touts study that finds large shortage of primary care physicians in the state of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City — Avalere Health recently released a national study that analyzed a number of states facing a primary care physician shortage as well as the costs that consumers would face if the state enacted a new prescription requirement for existing over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE). The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) sent the report to news organizations in Oklahoma and across the nation.

The study, entitled “Prescription-Only Pseudoephedrine containing products contribute to growing primary care phsician shortage,”

found that 57 million Americans live in regions that lack adequate access to primary healthcare due to a shortage of physicians in their communities and that the U.S. health system will have a deficit of 52,000 doctors by 2025, but an increasing population in need of primary care.

In Oklahoma, the study found that the state has 167 primary care physician shortage areas, with 25 percent of Oklahoma already living in an area without enough doctors. Additionally, the study found that placing a new prescription requirement for current OTC medicines containing PSE would create an additional 23,254 new doctor visits in the state, creating an unnecessary additional workload burden on a physician community that is already facing a shortage, costing $400,000 in new Medicaid spending on unnecessary doctor visits and prescriptions, and resulting in $700,000 in lost sales tax revenue for Oklahoma in the first year alone.

“This study from Avalere Health confirms what many Oklahomans already know: our state is in the midst of a tremendous physician shortage,” said State Representative David Derby, R-Tulsa and Rogers Counties. “Our legislature is committed to solving the shortage without exacerbating the problem with unnecessary legislation like pseudoephedrine prescription requirements. We have enacted some of the strongest and most successful anti-meth legislation in the country, blocking criminals, not law-abiding citizens, from purchasing cold and allergy medicine.”

About the Consumer Healthcare Products Association: CHPA is the 135-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. The group provides support for advocacy and for research on OTC-related issues. CHPA leaders maintain that “every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.”