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NACDS urges House to improve Part D, control prescription drug expenditures in healthcare reform legislation


ALEXANDRIA, Va. Retail pharmacy chains hope to see changes to Medicare Part D and assistance in controlling prescription drug expenditures included in the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, according to a letter delivered to members of the House this week.

In the letter – written to House Ways and Means Committee chairman Chuck Rangel, D-N.Y., House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and the committees’ ranking Republicans – National Association of Chain Drug Stores president Steven Anderson praised sections of the bill designed to cover the Medicare Part D coverage gap. The gap, also called the doughnut hole, causes seniors to lose Part D coverage when their annual prescription drug expenditures are between $2,700 and $6,154.

Anderson urged policies including a clarification of language ensuring that pharmacies would not be expected to cover the discounted portion of the price of a drug covered under Part D; expansion of extended days’ supplies of drugs – such as 90-day supplies – as a way to reduce dispensing fees and copays; and a rolling Part D enrollment period to alleviate disruptions in care that he said resulted from current enrollment rules.

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