Hello OSPA Member,
This is your chance to speak out against the Corporate Activities Tax (CAT) and ask for an exemption to pharmacies. What is the CAT? The CAT FAQs page can be found here. Basically the CAT taxes all commercial activities in the state of Oregon including sales in pharmacies, even if your pharmacy is losing money. Because the tax is also assessed onto drug manufacturers and wholesalers and pharmacies cannot pass the cost of this tax onto patients, pharmacies end up paying the tax multiple times over. Let’s get pharmacies exempted from this tax and then we will continue to work on additional issues impacting pharmacy bottom lines and staffing such as declining PBM reimbursements, etc.
Therefore, we urge you to:
- Find your local representative’s email address here.
- Copy and paste the template letter to elected official (see below or attachment) into your email.
- Send email right away!
- Forward this email to your colleagues and have them do the same!
Your. Voice. Matters. We need to get loud in our fight to exempt pharmacies from the CAT.
Dear [INSERT ELECTED OFFICIAL NAME HERE],
As a resident in your district, I am extremely concerned about the unfair Commercial Activities Tax on my local pharmacies. Prescription drugs shouldn’t be taxed this way. Pharmacies are already collapsing as payments to pharmacies by PBMs have fallen below the cost of doing business. The only way to survive is to either go out of business or cut back staffing to the point that patients have long waits for drugs and good care is difficult. Long lines and pharmacy closures are in the news all over Oregon. The problem is not lack of pharmacists. The problem is that payments to pharmacies are too low to be able to hire more help or maintain work conditions pharmacists feel safe working in.
The Oregon CAT tax threw fuel on the fire. Pharmacies are now taxed on their sales and not profits. A pharmacy can be losing money and still have to pay the full CAT tax! Worse is that wholesalers have passed on their share of the tax so pharmacies must pay double the tax! Pharmacies cannot just pass on the tax cost to consumers. They are limited by PBM reimbursements which are not adjusted for taxes. This situation of double taxes and below cost reimbursement has started the collapse of community pharmacies in Oregon. Indeed Bi-Mart made the decision to close and cited the CAT tax as one of the reasons why. More pharmacies will close if immediate action is not taken.
I urge you to support HB 4094 and SB 1507 which exempts prescription drugs from the CAT tax. Your legislative support is needed by our communities now!
Sincerely,[INSERT YOUR NAME HERE] [INSERT YOUR ADDRESS, EMAIL, ETC HERE]