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WSPA Joining "Fix DIR Day" for Lower Drug Costs

Thursday, June 27, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Janet Anderson
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WSPA Joining "Fix DIR Day" for Lower Drug Costs

Renton, WA (June 26, 2019) — The Washington State Pharmacy Association is joining the National Community Pharmacists Association in launching "Fix DIR Day" on Thursday, June 27. Pharmacy stakeholders will be mobilizing their legislators in Congress to contact members of the Senate Finance Committee and urge them to protect patient access to local community pharmacies by addressing pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees, or pharmacy DIR, in their forthcoming drug pricing package. "Fix DIR Day" will consist of an email campaign and social media outreach.

 “Pharmacy DIR fees are simply unsustainable. As pharmacists care for patients, they don’t truly know if they will be wholly reimbursed for the cost of the providing their patients with needed medications when the prescription is covered by Medicare. They are informed of an amount at the time of dispensing, but long after the patient has left the pharmacy, a portion of that payment is recouped by the plan in the form of a DIR. This uncertainty makes it very difficult to operate community pharmacies which represent the only accessible provider in several counties. This issue must be swiftly resolved by Congress, and we are proud to assist in mobilizing pharmacists to act. We appreciate NCPA’s partnership and leadership as we address this national issue.” Jeff Rochon, Pharm.D., WSPA Chief Executive Officer.

NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA, said, “As the Senate Finance Committee develops its legislation to lower drug costs, community pharmacy and our allies need to keep the pressure on Congress to fix pharmacy DIR. "Fix DIR Day" will remind legislators that, as pharmacy DIR fees have grown increasingly oppressive in the last three years, perhaps as many as 5 percent of all pharmacies including both big chains and regional and community pharmacies have closed their doors. At the same time, millions of seniors have been prematurely pushed into the coverage gap, or ‘donut hole,’ because of pharmacy DIRs artificially inflating the price of their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter. And, billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on seniors prematurely entering the catastrophic phase where government picks up most of their prescription drug costs. If leaders in Washington truly want to lower drug costs, they must fix pharmacy DIR.”

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