PHARMACY

NACDS finds support for TRICARE pilot among beneficiaries

BY David Salazar

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NACDS has commissioned a poll of TRICARE beneficiaries that found broad interest for the TRICARE Acquisition Cost Parity Pilot Program for Retail Pharmacy. The pilot, included in the 2017 federal budget plan, would allow TRICARE beneficiaries to get their prescriptions from retail pharmacies, rather than by mail order or through military treatment facilities.

The Morning Consult survey found that 6-in-10 TRICARE patients think the ability to fill scripts at retail pharmacies would positively impact their health, and 9-in-10 agree that it is important that military family and veteran benefits can be accessed at local and private establishments, rather than just military health facilities.

Additionally, 8-in-10 TRICARE beneficiaries support the ability to fill prescriptions at retail pharmacies, with 5-in-10 strongly supporting it.

The poll comes as 21 senators have urged Defense Sec. James Mattis to implement the pilot as soon as possible before the Oct. 1 deadline for its implementation. The senators, in their letter to Mattis, highlight the cost savings that would result from lower purchasing costs and reduced administrative costs the pilot would bring about.

“This pilot comes at an essential moment in the healthcare discussion and has the potential to be truly beneficial for our military families and veterans, while also reducing costs for the Department of Defense,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said when the senators sent their letter.

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PHARMACY

IPC inks agreement with U-Save pharmacy group

BY David Salazar

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — The Independent Pharmacy Cooperative announced Friday that it had signed an agreement with Nebraska-based U-Save pharmacy group. The new partnership will bring access to IPC’s resources to U-Saves more than 80 U-Save independent pharmacies across North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

“We are proud to have the U-Save stores as the newest group to partner with IPC to further strengthen our position in the marketplace to attain even better opportunities for our member stores and to improve the climate for independent pharmacy in the marketplace,” IPC President and CEO Don Anderson said. “IPC is poised to push for greater results on the political stage as well as continuing our efforts to deliver the solutions today’s independent pharmacy needs to thrive.”

The new IPC members will have access to more than 70 contracted vendors delivering negotiated pricing and additional value, as well as the opportunities that come from IPC’s supply agreement with McKesson.

“Our stores are excited to take this step with IPC,” the U-Save buying group team said. “This is a perfect alignment of community pharmacy groups with a common goal. We look forward to being part of the IPC effort to influence positive outcomes for community pharmacy. I know our members will benefit greatly from this alliance and will be active participants in the many programs provided by IPC for independent pharmacy success.”

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Good Neighbor Pharmacy launches DIR fee estimator tool

BY David Salazar

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — Good Neighbor Pharmacy on Friday announced a new tool for independent pharmacists designed to help them plan around direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR, fees and hidden cash flow issues surrounding them.

“For more than 30 years, we have found our greatest successes when we listen to our pharmacists and develop solutions that address the most complicated challenges they face every day,” AmerisourceBergen group VP pharmacy innovation and solutions Chuck Reed said. “Inconsistency and opacity in how DIR fees are calculated and the delayed timing of DIR fees is a major pain point for pharmacists.”

The new tool is available to members of AmerisourceBergen’s pharmacy services administrative organization, Elevate Provider Network, who take advantage of its advanced features. The DIR fee estimator tool uses real-time claim-level detail alongside DIR rates from signed contracts between the PSAO and pharmacy benefits managers. The tool is updated every two hours to ensure the most accurate information is available for pharmacists planning around their monthly fees.

“Our DIR fee estimator tool was created to empower them to plan ahead, give [pharmacists] visibility into the process and ultimately set them up for a more successful business,” Reed said.

The company said that the estimator tool is part of its larger efforts to manage the impact that DIR fees have on independent pharmacies, including work through Elevate Provider Network’s approach to managed care contracting and selectively participating in preferred cost-sharing networks. The company also advocates on behalf of independent and managed-care pharmacies on legislative issues, and has a resource site for pharmacists, OurIndependentVoice.com.
 

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