Berry Health Reform Bill Includes Provisions Helpful to Patients, Community Pharmacies

Alexandria, Va. - March 11, 2010

Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR) has introduced H.R. 4813, a smaller health care reform bill that includes several provisions that strengthen the ability of community pharmacies to provide services to their patients. As a former pharmacist and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Community Pharmacy Coalition, Berry has been a leader in addressing the challenges that face community pharmacies and their patients. 

H.R. 4813 would:

  • Exempt community pharmacies from the Medicare Part B Durable Medical Equipment, Orthotics, Prosthetics and Supplies (DMEPOS) accreditation requirement that threatens seniors’ access to diabetes testing supplies and other essential medical products
  • Expose the expensive, hidden costs imposed on patients and health plan sponsors by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)
  • Provide reasonable pharmacy reimbursement (a federal upper limit of 300% of the weighted Average Manufacturer Price) for Medicaid generic prescription drugs.

In response, Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) executive vice president and CEO, issued the following statement: 

“Congressman Marion Berry has been a champion for the concerns of community pharmacies and their patients. He understands the vital role they play in keeping patients healthy. More importantly, as someone who represents a rural district where community pharmacies are often the only local health care provider, he recognizes that the federal government’s policies must not endanger patient access to clinically trained pharmacists and their services. 

“That is why we support the pharmacy provisions contained in H.R. 4813. As the leaders in the House, Senate and White House attempt to conclude their comprehensive health care reform efforts, we hope that they follow Berry’s lead. Pharmacists should be exempted from the ill-advised DMEPOS accreditation requirement. Those paying the bills deserve real transparency from the unaccountable PBM industry. Fair reimbursement levels for Medicaid generic prescription drugs will allow community pharmacies to continue offering those services to our most economically disadvantaged citizens.”

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM