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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a rule shortening the traditional 30-day drug cycle for long-term care centers to seven days when brand-name drugs are dispensed, prompting a supportive response from an organization representing independent pharmacies.
“Community pharmacists fully support efforts to reduce pharmaceutical waste in our healthcare system and have demonstrated that commitment [in such ways as] by referring patients to lower-cost generic drugs whenever appropriate,” stated National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger, highlighting her organization’s creation of a Long-Term Care Division designed to advocate for patients in long-term care centers and the independent pharmacies that serve them.
In particular, Jaeger praised the exemption included for generic drugs and the ability of some pharmacies to take an extra year to deal with compliance costs. She did express reservations, however. “Despite these positive aspects, this well-intentioned initiative could be an unfunded mandate for some small pharmacies,” Jaeger said. “This new policy is an opportunity to utilize community pharmacists to produce real savings for Medicare beneficiaries and Part D plan sponsors, and allow pharmacists to be recognized for the value of those services to patients and the overall system.”