The pilot program was included in the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and has the potential to reduce costs while also restoring TRICARE patient access to medications and services from their neighborhood pharmacies.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R., Colo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, along with Reps. Walter Jones (R., N.C.) and Bob Brady (D., Pa.), led the effort on the letter to Mattis.
“The pilot program allows the military to realize the maximum voluntary manufacturer discounts on brand name prescription medications at all filling locations, which now include retail pharmacies,” the letter states. It also emphasizes that if the secretary decides to implement the program, time is of the essence as the NDAA requires the pilot program to begin by Oct. 1.
The letter urges the secretary to act quickly to begin implementation of the pilot in order to meet the start date.
“NACDS appreciates the work of Congressmen Mike Coffman, Walter Jones and Bob Brady — and each of the members of Congress who signed this letter — to advance this important pilot program,” said association president and CEO Steve Anderson. “This pilot has the potential to preserve the choice of military families and veterans, to reduce Defense Department costs, and to enhance patient health by maintaining access to the pharmacist-patient relationship.”