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Concerns over DIR fees top list of concerns for NCPA members
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Ensuring fair compensation and a level playing field are the chief concerns for community pharmacy operators as the 115th Congress begins their deliberations, according to the latest National Community Pharmacists Association member survey.
For the fourth consecutive year, NCPA asked its members to rank their most important legislative and regulatory priorities. The top issue chosen by respondents is to end the retroactive nature of direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees by pharmacy benefit managers. The next most important issue is creating greater transparency in generic presrcription drug reimbursements. Rounding out the top three priorities is the inclusion of an any willing pharmacy provision for Medicare Part D ‘preferred pharmacy’ prescription drug plans.
“NCPA’s annual survey of independent community pharmacies helps focus our advocacy efforts, which take on more urgency with a new Congress and president taking office," stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "This year’s top priorities are tied to the questionable business practices of lightly-regulated PBM corporations. Complaints about DIR fees have skyrocketed, so it is not surprising that reining in PBM clawbacks would top the list. The second and third highest ranked priorities are long-standing, PBM-generated challenges – the lack of transparency with generic prescription drug reimbursements and Medicare Part D’s ‘preferred pharmacy’ plans that prevent independent community pharmacy patients from having access to discounted copays," he said.
“Legislative remedies have previously generated bipartisan support, and we will work to get them introduced and passed in the new Congress. In addition, we will work constructively with the Trump Administration, especially officials charged with oversight at HHS, because we believe our solutions are fair-minded and principles they should favor," Hoey added.
Beyond these three leading issues, NCPA will also focus on relaying the value community pharmacists delivery day-in and day-out as both the political landscape, and potentially the healthcare market, change dramatically. "We will make sure the voice of independent community pharmacies is heard," Hoey said. "Our main objective is always to maintain patient access to prescription drug services at community pharmacies and continue pushing for pharmacists to be fully utilized as clinically-trained medication experts who improve health outcomes while reducing costs.”