Retail News Breaks Archives
NACDS, NCPA to Congress: Reject Tricare proposal
November 18th, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association have called on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the "super committee, and the Senate Armed Services Committee to nix an Obama administration proposal that they say would lead to higher prices and penalize use of community pharmacists by Tricare members.
NACDS and NCPA said Thursday that they have sent joint letters to the super committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee urging the rejection of the proposal.
According to the pharmacy groups, the Obama administration's proposal would force Tricare beneficiaries to pay 30% of the cost of their medications at a retail pharmacy without capping annual cost sharing, while mail-order prescriptions would include far lower out-of-pocket costs. The administration’s plan would also increase costs by ending the incentive for drug manufacturers to offer added price concessions to the Department of Defense beyond those required by law, since the Tricare program would equalize cost sharing between preferred and nonpreferred medicines, they said.
"Rather than instituting changes that unfairly penalize beneficiaries and drive up prescription drug costs, we urge you to increase generic dispensing rates in both the Tricare retail and mail-order settings," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson and NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey wrote. "We feel strongly that a greater reliance on mail order will not only fail to produce the needed savings but will also compromise patient care, increase waste and penalize those who wish to have their prescriptions filled at their local pharmacy."
Generic drug use in Tricare continues to lag behind that of other health care programs, NACDS and NCPA noted. The program could save $11 billion over 10 years by working with community pharmacists to maximize the appropriate use of generics and by holding its pharmacy benefit manager accountable for generic drug dispensing rates, particularly at mail order, they explained. The associations added that this cost savings should be considered as Congress prepares the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2012 and deficit reduction proposals.