NCPA submits comments on Medicare, drug access to House committee

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NCPA submits comments on Medicare, drug access to House committee

By David Salazar - 05/22/2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacy on Monday submitted its comments to the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, suggesting how to improve access to prescription drugs and essential health services for Medicare beneficiaries. The organization, writing on behalf of the roughly 22,000 independent community pharmacy owners, highlighted pharmacy’s role in facilitating patient healthcare access.

“Independent community pharmacies play a critical role in ensuring Medicare beneficiaries have immediate access to medications,” NCPA said. “Ninety-two percent of sales revenue at an independent community pharmacy is derived from prescription drugs and Medicare Part D accounts for 35 percent of these prescriptions.”

In order to improve patient access, NCPA recommended the following legislative action:

  • Enact H.R. 1038 (the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Drug Spending Act), which would ban retroactive DIR fees on community pharmacies.

  • Strengthen and finalize proposed CMS guidance on DIR and pharmacy price concessions.

  • Review and standardize how Part D plans measure pharmacy quality and performance in community pharmacies.

  • Enact H.R. 1316 (the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act) to increase transparency into how generic drugs are priced by PBMs and paid for in Medicare

  • Enact H.R. 1939 (the Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act) to give seniors more access to discounted copays for prescription drugs at their pharmacy of choice; and

  • Enact H.R. 592 (the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act) to expand access for beneficiaries in underserved areas to basic health services from a community pharmacist.