Independent pharmacies with a significant business in diabetes supplies will be facing their next big challenge to that business in January 2013 when competitive bidding of durable medical equipment goes into effect for mail order, Chris Smith, director of policy and regulatory affairs for the National Association of Community Pharmacists, told Drug Store News.
“Basically what that means is if our members do home delivery, they won’t be able to do it at that point because it will be considered mail order. And if it’s considered mail order, it has to go through the competitive bidding program,” he said. For independents, that can mean the loss of a key point of differentiation versus their national competitors who don’t offer that kind of personalized service.
The competitive bidding process for retail pharmacy, through which a pharmacy would either have to competitively bid or be bound by the lowest competitive bid, doesn’t go into effect until 2016, however. “If that happens, our members will probably just drop out of selling this product,” Smith said.
NCPA is continuing to make a legislative push in 2012 to exclude diabetes-testing supplies from the DME competitive bidding process, even though in an election year, bipartisan politicking will weigh heavily on the success of any bill.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete DME/Diabetes Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.