NCPA Supports Legislation to Bring Greater Transparency in Generic Prescription Drug Payments

PRESS RELEASE

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 2, 2017) The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today announced its strong support for legislation that would increase transparency in generic drug payments in taxpayer-funded federal health programs and preserve patient access to local community pharmacies. H.R. 1316, the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, introduced by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), would:

  • Require pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which serve TRICARE and the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) programs, to provide the same updates and disclosures to pharmacies for the maximum allowable costs (MAC) lists that are currently provided to pharmacies in Medicare Part D. These "MAC" lists determine generic reimbursements for pharmacies;
  • Set a standard for how frequently those lists are updated;
  • Prohibit sharing patient information with PBM-owned pharmacies (mail order and/or retail) unless a patient has chosen to fill that prescription there, and
  • Forbid PBMs from mandating patients use their affiliated pharmacies.

"Taxpayer-funded federal health programs should operate in a fair, efficient and cost-effective manner, but we are falling short of those objectives when it comes to the dispensing and reimbursement system for generic prescription drugs," said B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, NCPA CEO. "Building off of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) transparency requirements for PBMs' Medicare Part D plans, Reps. Doug Collins and Dave Loebsack have introduced H.R. 1316. Their bipartisan, common-sense bill extends many of those disclosure and privacy protections to federal employees and the military health programs."

Hoey continued, "If enacted, H.R. 1316 would strengthen patient access to the pharmacies of their choice by curtailing the self-dealing of PBMs steering patients to the mail order and retail pharmacies they own; ensure pharmacies that sign take-it-or-leave-it contracts with PBMs are no longer ‘flying blind' when it comes to understanding the criteria for generic drug reimbursements; and create more accountability for how these federal health programs deliver prescription drug services."

The bills other original sponsors are Reps. Brian Babin (R-Texas), Rod Blum (R-Iowa), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), and John Sarbanes (D-Md.).