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Governor Mark Gordon issues directive to provide financial relief to independent pharmacists

Gov. Mark Gordon gives his state of the state address during the 2022 Wyoming State Legislature's joint session. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordon exercised his line item veto authority on select portions of Senate File 151/SEA No. 90 – Wyoming prescription drug transparency act before signing it today.

Gordon said it has important policy changes related to rural and independent pharmacists, a critical component of healthcare in Wyoming. He vetoed portions of the bill that could have had impacts on prescription costs for Wyoming consumers. The Governor acknowledged the importance of rural independent pharmacies and the burdens placed on those small businesses, which he said are often left to manage operations with insufficient reimbursements and increasing compliance costs for accountability.

Gordon signed a Governor’s Directive for the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information to negotiate payment of an increased amount of dispensing fee claims of up to $10 per brand label claim and $12 per generic brand claim to independent pharmacists participating in the Wyoming State Employees’ and Officials’ Group Insurance program.

“This issue is so important to Wyoming, our communities, and our future that I implore health insurance providers to follow in our footsteps,” Gordon said. “Together, working in unison, we can make a difference in our communities and keep local businesses operational while ensuring quality access to vital healthcare services.”

The governor did line-item several provisions in the bill and wrote to legislators that the act as drafted, “May do more harm than good, inadvertently shifting increased and burdensome pharmaceutical costs to consumers despite the good work done by all involved to provide local relief.”

The governor allowed Senate File 133/SEA No. 92 – Student eligibility in interscholastic sports to pass into law without his signature. The Governor said that while he supports and agrees with the overall goal of fairness in competitive female sports, the ban included in the legislation, “Is overly draconian, is discriminatory without attention to individual circumstances or mitigating factors, and pays little attention to fundamental principles of equality.”

The Governor does agree with the provision of the bill that moves decision-making to the state level to ensure consistency and fairness across school districts.

“While I freely acknowledge the intent of this legislation is well-meaning as a way to protect the integrity and fairness of women’s sports in our state, by enacting an outright ban on transgender individuals participating in sports teams, I believe Wyoming sends a harmful message that these individuals and their families do not deserve the same opportunities as others,” Gordon wrote.

“Moreover the ban leaves little or no flexibility for families to support their children. As a parent, that saddens me,” he added.

The legislature set the effective date for the bill as July 1. That means no current student athletes are impacted during this season. The governor committed to work with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction prior to the start of the next school year to ensure that there is clear guidance from the Wyoming High School Activities Association regarding the opportunities that will exist moving forward for transgender students to have some means to participate safely in interscholastic activities after this law goes into effect, recognizing sadly that may mean these young people may not be able to compete in athletics.

A copy of the governor’s letters and his line-items are attached and can be found on the bill’s page of the governor’s website.