Senate Finance Committee to include pharmacy DIR fee reform in its forthcoming drug pricing legislation. Nearly a quarter of the U.S. House of Representatives and more than a quarter of the Senate voiced their support for finalizing pharmacy DIR reform this year, after DIR fee reform was excluded from a Medicare rule in the spring. The National Community Pharmacists Association also recently held Fix DIR Day, around which more than 3,100 emails were sent to senators to encourage that Senate Finance Committee drug pricing legislation include pharmacy DIR fee reform.
In their letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R. Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D, Ore.), the pharmacy and patient groups said, “As CMS itself cited in the proposed rule, DIR fees on pharmacies participating in Part D grew by 45,000 percent between 2010 and 2017. This increase is unacceptable and unsustainable and it creates uncertainty not only for community pharmacies but also for the patients who rely on Part D prescription drugs. Until pharmacy DIR fee reform occurs, seniors will continue to pay higher cost-sharing for their prescription drugs. CMS estimated that these reforms would have saved Medicare beneficiaries between $7.1 and $9.2 billion in cost sharing over the next ten years.”