NCPA Statement on Congressional Letter to CMS About Concerns Over Short Cycle Dispensing Rule for Long-Term Care Facilities


Alexandria, Va. - March 14, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) Executive Vice President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger issued the following statement today in response to a letter sent by U.S. Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL), Aaron Schock (R-IL), John Barrow (D-GA), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Shelley Capito (R-WV), Geoff Davis (R-KY), Sam Graves (R-MO) and Nan Hayworth (R-NY) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

"We appreciate Representative Roskam and his nine colleagues speaking up on behalf of pharmacists and patients about the short cycle prescription drug dispensing rule for long-term care (LTC) facilities. While we all share the goal of eliminating waste in programs like Medicare Part D, there is scant evidence substantiating that a move to shorter dispensing cycles would actually reduce costs.

"More importantly, the requirement is very burdensome for pharmacies, which may have to invest significant resources in order to comply with the regulation. Before CMS moves forward with implementation we hope it will conduct a thorough, fact-finding study to determine what is the wisest course of action. Plowing ahead without that data could have unintended consequences, such as higher costs to Medicare or fewer pharmacies providing LTC services. Those are outcomes nobody should want.

"Through the new NCPA LTC Division, our association's staff and membership will continue working with like-minded organizations to engage Congress, CMS and others on this issue for a positive resolution that benefits patients, payers and pharmacists."

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, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM