Report: Jean Coutu criticizes government negotiations regarding dispensing fees
Jean Coutu founder Jean Coutu spoke out regarding negotiations with Quebec around dispensing fees, according to a report published last week by Canada's Bell Media. Jean Coutu earlier this year agreed to surrender $300 million in collected dispensing fees in return for smaller manufacturer rebates that cut into pharmacy operating margins. "It is an average of $100,000 for each of our locations," Coutu told shareholders BellMedia reported. "It was extremely difficult to digest." (Bell Media)
NACDS finds support for TRICARE pilot among beneficiaries
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.
IPC inks agreement with U-Save pharmacy group
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.”