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News & Press: Federal Legislation

U.S. Senators Back Proposed Treatment of Pharmacy DIR Fees

Thursday, January 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Janet Anderson
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U.S. Senators Back Proposed Treatment of Pharmacy DIR Fees   

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 25, 2018) – In a letter sent this week, 21 U.S. Senators expressed support for a proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to apply pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees at the point of sale. The policy is part of CMS’ 2019 proposed Medicare Part D rule and addresses the retroactive nature of these price concessions.

National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, issued the following statement:  

“Thanks to the strong leadership of Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), a bipartisan coalition of senators has endorsed CMS’ fix for the problem of retroactive pharmacy DIR fees. Patients, taxpayers, and pharmacies will all benefit from the agency’s transparent, cost-effective, and common-sense proposal.”

Among the letter’s strongest arguments for moving forward with the proposal is how pharmacies are negatively affected by retroactive DIR fees:

“We have heard from numerous pharmacies in our communities—many of which are rural or medically underserved—that these clawback fees cause so much uncertainty that they do not know if they can continue to serve American families. They do not know when the fees will be collected, how large a fee they will have to pay, and if the final amount they are paid will actually cover the cost of dispensing the drugs. This sort of opacity in the real cost of prescription drugs and the method of paying for them is exactly why Americans are so frustrated when they try to fill a prescription.”


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