Retail News Breaks Archives
NACDS, NCPA voice concerns about TRICARE
May 7th, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association shared their concerns with Senate and House leaders over the potential impact of the Obama administration's 2013 budget on TRICARE beneficiaries and community pharmacy.
NACDS and NCPA said Monday that they have sent a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D., Mich.) and ranking member John McCain (R., Ariz.), and a letter to House Armed Services Committee chairman Howard McKeon (R., Calif.) and ranking member Adam Smith (D., Wash.) explaining that the budget would "increase health care costs for the Department of Defense, place significant financial burdens on TRICARE beneficiaries and threaten access to local pharmacies."
TRICARE is the health care and pharmacy benefits program for the U.S. Department of Defense and armed forces.
The letters point to a flaw in the budget's co-payments proposal to incentivize TRICARE patients to move to mail order pharmacy, which NACDS and NCPA said will hike health costs, not decrease them.
"The goal ... is to reduce prescription drug spending. However, the co-payments currently in place for the TRICARE pharmacy benefit are flawed, and the proposed changes will only build on this faulty structure," the two pharmacy associations stated in the letters. "According to DoD's own analysis, in the case of generic medications, mail order is more expensive than the retail pharmacy network."
NACDS and NCPA called on lawmakers to promote the use of generic drugs at community pharmacies. "TRICARE mail order dispenses generics less frequently than other commercial mail-order programs," they noted.
The letters also stressed the value of cost-savings demonstration projects and urged Congress to include a medication therapy management (MTM) project in the 2013 Defense Authorization bill. "The use of MTM in targeted populations has been found to increase adherence to medications, reduce hospitalizations and physician visits, and reduce costs," NACDS and NCPA stated.