ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 9, 2013) — National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement today regarding a new study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics that the total spending on medicines declined by 3.5 percent in 2012 on a real per capita basis to $325.8 billion, falling for the first time in over 50 years:
“This report is generally good news for consumers and health plan sponsors, such as employers. Community pharmacists are proud to have played a key role in achieving the savings reflected in this report. These pharmacists are leading the way in encouraging the appropriate use of more affordable generic prescription drug options.
“A recent analysis of millions of Medicare prescription drug event records found that community pharmacists provided 90-day medication supplies at lower overall cost to Medicare and were more effective at maximizing the proper use of generic drugs compared to mail order pharmacies.
“As the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics noted, part of the lower drug spending is unfortunately attributable to economic and other hardships experienced by many consumers. NCPA would like to reiterate that consumers who struggle with paying for their medications should talk to a pharmacist in their community. Pharmacists may be able to identify an appropriate lower-cost drug regimen or other savings. Community pharmacists play a vital role in helping consumers get the most out of their drug benefit.”