NCPA Member's Top 2016 Legislative, Regulatory Priorities
For the third consecutive year the National Community Pharmacists Association has asked its members to rank their top legislative and regulatory priorities.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — For the third consecutive year the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has asked its members to rank their top legislative and regulatory priorities. Some 25 percent of respondents listed the need for greater transparency in generic prescription drug reimbursements as their top priority. Approximately 20 percent of members listed a new issue that emerged this year as their top priority — the need to address the growth in unpredictable direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees by pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) corporations that have effectively resulted in retroactive re-pricing of prescription payments. Rounding out the top three member priorities was the inclusion of an “any willing pharmacy” provision for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, which is the top priority for nearly 17 percent of respondents.
“NCPA surveys independent community pharmacies annually to help direct and prioritize our advocacy efforts and resources,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “The questionable business practices of largely unregulated PBM corporations continues to be the most significant concern for these small business health care providers. Whether it is an opaque reimbursement system for generic prescription drugs, arbitrary fees that subtract even more from Medicare reimbursements, or exclusion from offering copay discounts in preferred pharmacy Part D plans, PBM corporations are harming independent community pharmacies and the patients they serve.”
This year NCPA will focus on advancing solutions to these problems. Those remedies include:
• Push for passage of H.R. 244, the MAC (Maximum Allowable Cost) Transparency Act, which would provide more transparency in how reimbrusements are determined and ensure the accompanying payment rates are updated in a timely fashion. Also, help efforts to pass and properly implement similar laws at the state level.
• Champion H.R. 793 / S. 1190, the Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act, which would allow any pharmacy in a medically underserved area to participate in a “preferred” Part D plan if they accept its terms and conditions.
• Encourage the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to heed congressional calls to finalize proposed guidance to standardize the transparency into and reporting of DIR fees as well as pursue other remedies.
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $81.4 billion health care marketplace and employ more than 314,000 individuals on a full or part-time basis. To learn more, go to www.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.