ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In print ads Tuesday in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, the National Community Pharmacists Association is urging policymakers to rein in pharmacy benefit managers to help lower drug costs. These ads complement NCPA’s ongoing efforts in its years-long campaign to reform pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration
(DIR) fees, a tool abused by PBMs to claw back reimbursement paid to pharmacies for Medicare prescriptions, often weeks or months after the transaction. As a result, pharmacies are forced to fill Medicare prescriptions often below cost and patients are prematurely pushed into the coverage gap, or ‘donut hole,’ because of pharmacy DIRs artificially inflating the price of their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter.
NCPA chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA issued the following statement:
”Patients deserve health care that is accessible, affordable, and understandable, not PBM mega-corporations operating largely in secret to generate revenue for themselves at the expense of patients and small business community pharmacies. That’s why for years we have aggressively called for DIR reform and are further increasing awareness of this issue. To truly lower drug costs, policymakers simply must rein in PBM middlemen. The Senate Finance Committee drug pricing package is an opportunity to get it right for patients, reform the system, and deliver savings to patients.”