NACDS, NCPA urge Congress to reject proposal that discourages Tricare patients' use of community pharmacies

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association are urging Congress to reject budget proposals that would limit pharmacy choice for Tricare beneficiaries.

The call to action from the two groups follows the release of President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget plans. A provision in the government's FY 2013 budget would increase co-pays for prescription medications at community pharmacies for Tricare patients, but lower co-pays for prescriptions filled via mail order.

"Congress should reject, and the Obama administration should drop, short-sighted policies that would penalize Tricare beneficiaries accessing essential health services provided at community pharmacies," NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey said in a joint statement. "A greater reliance on mail-order pharmacies will circumvent proven community pharmacy-provided services that have demonstrated savings by encouraging the utilization of more affordable medicines, detecting chronic illness early, and increasing patients’ proper utilization of medicine as prescribed."

"Similarly, saddling our nation’s service members and their families with higher out-of-pocket costs in this still-sluggish economy will reduce their access to life-saving and cost-reducing healthcare services," they said. "Instead of hampering access to community pharmacy-provided services, the Administration should give Tricare beneficiaries a fair choice in their healthcare options."

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