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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday endorsed the Community Pharmacy Fairness Act of 2011 (H.R. 1839), legislation recently introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.
If passed, the bill will create a more competitive marketplace for the delivery of pharmacy services by enhancing the ability of independent community pharmacies to negotiate with pharmacy benefit managers, the association stated.
“For years, the major insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, have benefitted from an antitrust exemption and have opposed efforts to grant the same status to independent pharmacists,” stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA EVP and CEO. “This dynamic produces one-sided, take-it-or-leave-it contracts that can disadvantage community pharmacists with onerous contract terms while impeding true competition for consumers.”
The end result means more prescriptions for the PBM-owned mail-order pharmacies. “This inherent conflict of interest creates an even greater incentive for benefit managers to impose unfair audit and reimbursement practices [on community pharmacists],” Hoey added.