Frontier Institute statement in support of SB 374

Frontier Institute statement in support of SB 374

By allowing doctors to dispense medicine, lawmakers can lower barriers for Montanans to access healthcare.

Today, The Frontier Institute offered support for SB 374, a bill to allow doctors to dispense medicine in Montana.

Montana is one of only five states that prohibits doctors from dispensing the medicine they prescribe in most instances, requiring patients to make an additional trip to the pharmacy. SB 374, proposed by Senator Cary Smith of Billings, follows the Frontier Institute’s recommendations to allow providers to dispense medicine.

“By allowing doctors to dispense medicine, lawmakers will reduce barriers for Montana patients to get the treatment they need,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of the Frontier Institute. “During a pandemic, it’s important that our leaders give Montanans more safe, convenient options to get their prescriptions.”

Frontier Institute has promoted extensive research showing:

  • Doctor dispensing is equally as safe as when prescriptions are filled at the pharmacy
  • Doctor dispensing can be more convenient for patients, which improves medication adherence and leads to better health outcomes that save healthcare costs long-term.
  • With insurance co-pays often exceeding the cash price of drugs, doctor dispensing allows patients another option to bypass the middlemen and save on prescription costs.
  • Purchasing doctor dispensed medicine with cash can be a cost-effective option for patients, especially for those who are uninsured or have high deductible health plans.
  • Doctor dispensing does not require patients to purchase their drugs at their physician’s office but merely makes the option available to them, allowing them to shop for the best price and make tradeoffs between price and convenience.


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