ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has urged the House of Representatives to improve Medicare Part D and control prescription drug spending in health care reform legislation.
In letters to House committee leaders the association urged that pro-patient and pro-pharmacy measures — including Medicaid reform, access to durable medical equipment supplies and services, and a heightened role for pharmacy — be part of a revamped system.
NACDS commended Congress for a proposal to extend Part D discounts for branded drugs in the coverage gap.
But “additional clarity can be provided in the language to ensure that pharmacies would not be expected to cover the discounted portion of a covered drug’s price until the plan has received payment from the manufacturer,” NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in one letter to lawmakers.
The letter also called for more extended days’ supplies of Part D medications for chronic conditions; eliminating a requirement to obtain signed, written requests from beneficiaries; and establishment of a rolling enrollment period.
Another letter from Anderson, addressed to three House committee chairmen, calls for additional changes to the average manufacturer price (AMP) definition for Medicaid pharmacy reimbursements.
“For example, sales of certain drugs to hospitals, physicians and clinics remain part of the AMP definition,” Anderson wrote. “Clearly, these entities are not part of the retail class of trade, and inclusion of these sales skews the AMP benchmark downward.”
He also expressed concern about a proposed 130% AMP multiplier. “This multiplier will result in insufficient reimbursement to pharmacies for dispensing generic drugs,” Anderson said.
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