Alexandria, Va. - March 20, 2012
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today endorsed the Medicare Pharmacy Transparency and Fair Audit Act, H.R. 4215, legislation to help safeguard patient access to independent community pharmacists and to address abusive pharmacy auditing practices, while allowing legitimate anti-fraud oversight to continue.
"Pharmacists are among the most-trusted professionals in America today and patients have expressed a particular preference for utilizing the services of independent community pharmacists," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "This legislation would help ensure that local pharmacists can continue providing expert medication counseling and other pharmacy services to help seniors get the most out of their medication therapy."
The bill, introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), would address two primary threats to the ability of community pharmacies to continue serving seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program, also known as Part D.
First, the legislation would give local pharmacists some basic insight into one "black box" of pharmacy reimbursement—a Part D plan's "maximum allowable cost" or MAC. Currently, independent pharmacies must evaluate take-it-or-leave-it contract offers from Part D plans or pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that leave pharmacists in the dark as to how reimbursement caps, or MACs, are determined for many common generic medications. As a result, independent pharmacies are increasingly—and without warning—reimbursed at rates that fluctuate and fail to cover either the pharmacy's cost of dispensing or its cost of acquiring that particular drug.
Second, Rep. McMorris Rodgers' proposal would address abusive pharmacy audits by Part D plan sponsors (or their designees). Presently, community pharmacists are forced to take time away from serving patients in order to grapple with a patchwork system of Part D auditing requirements. Auditors routinely recoup large sums from pharmacies over narrow technical or clerical issues.
Specific provisions of Rep. McMorris Rodgers' legislation would:
An August 2011 survey of 1,850 community pharmacists conducted by NCPA illustrates the need for the reforms embodied by H.R. 4215. Among that survey's findings:
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs
Director, Public Relations
NCPA News Release FeedWhat is RSS?
NCPA Advocacy Center
Legislative Action Network
NCPA's Blog — The Dose,
eNews Weekly Archives
Business Plan Competition,
Programs & Awards,
© NCPA • 100 Daingerfield Road • Alexandria, VA 22314 • 703.683.8200 • 703.683.3619 fax • email@example.com
NCPA ID #