WASHINGTON — The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy on Monday launched a new resource hub built around educating patients and pharmacists about the impact the organization sees direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR, fees having on specialty pharmacies and the patients they serve.
“Big Pharmacy Benefit Management firms have worked hard to make DIR fees so complicated and opaque that very few people understand how they impact sick seniors enrolled in Medicare,” NASP executive director Sheila Arquette said. “DIR fees endanger the integrity of the Medicare Part D program, which is intended to ensure quality, satisfaction, and cost effectiveness for sick seniors across the nation.”
StopDIRfees.com is aimed at showing how NASP sees access clinical and patient support services being reduced by DIR fees. The organization also highlighted new research showing the increased out-of-pocket costs caused by Medicare Part D benefit design, rebates and remunerations. It includes information and testimonials about how DIR fees are imposed, as well as an online petition and contact information for elected officials.
“Big PBMs risk putting profits over patients, and squeezing out the specialty pharmacies working as an extension of physicians treating sick seniors as they manage complex, life-altering, or life-threatening diseases,” Avella Specialty Pharmacy CEO and NASP president Rebecca Shanahan said. “It’s time for Washington to take action by requiring PBMs to stop DIR fees and enhance transparency by opening up their ‘black box’ of information. We need big PBMs to engage in an open and honest discussion around containing prescription medication costs for sick seniors, and work with specialty pharmacies to establish standards and incentives that apply to the unique services provided or patients treated by specialty pharmacies.”