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NCPA Urges Clear Disclosure on “Preferred Pharmacy” Access Limitations

By Kevin Schweers

NCPA expressed strong support in comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for a new requirement that Medicare prescription drug plan sponsors provide clear disclosure to beneficiaries when prescription drug plans that advertise “preferred cost sharing” (access to lower co-pays) fail to meet minimum access thresholds in certain geographic areas.

Continue reading ‘NCPA Urges Clear Disclosure on “Preferred Pharmacy” Access Limitations’

Policy Brief Reveals the Challenges Patients Face In Communities With A Sole Pharmacy

By John Norton

The Rural Health Research & Policy Centers recently issued a brief called “Characteristics of Rural Communities with a Sole, Independently Owned Pharmacy“. It lent further credence to concerns expressed by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) that ill-advised policies such as outdated, low reimbursements for generic prescription drugs and exclusion of Medicare Part D “preferred pharmacy” plans can cause financially-strapped independent community pharmacies to close or limit their services, which can have an especially devastating impact for patients in less-populated areas. Continue reading ‘Policy Brief Reveals the Challenges Patients Face In Communities With A Sole Pharmacy’

Independent Pharmacists Brief Congressional Staff on Need for MAC Transparency and Any Willing Pharmacy Legislation

By Michael Rule

Stacey Swartz, owner of the Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray in Alexandria, VA, and George Garmer, owner of Halethorpe Pharmacy in Baltimore, MD, recently took time out of their busy schedules to brief Congressional staffers on the importance of passing H.R. 244, the MAC Transparency Act, and H.R. 793/S. 1190, the Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act. Continue reading ‘Independent Pharmacists Brief Congressional Staff on Need for MAC Transparency and Any Willing Pharmacy Legislation’

Pharmacists to Expand Patient Access to Health Care in Washington State

By John Norton

The pharmacy industry’s quest to expand patient access to health care services received a boost on May 12. It happened in Washington. It wasn’t our nation’s capital where there are companion bills gaining steam to address this issue in the U.S. Senate and House (S. 314 and H.R. 592the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act). Instead it occurred in Olympia, Washington where the state’s Governor Jay Inslee (D) signed ESSB 5557 into law. Continue reading ‘Pharmacists to Expand Patient Access to Health Care in Washington State’

Keeping up the heat on Medicare “Preferred Pharmacy” Access

By Kevin Schweers

To better inform patients and caregivers, Medicare officials are preparing “disclaimer language” to accompany marketing material for any Medicare Part D drug plans that fail to offer convenient access to discounted copays at “preferred pharmacies.” The move comes in response to concerns expressed repeatedly by NCPA and others regarding inadequate patient access and exclusionary “preferred” networks. Continue reading ‘Keeping up the heat on Medicare “Preferred Pharmacy” Access’

NCPA Ads Champion Pharmacy Choice, Generic Drug Payment Issues

By Kevin Schweers

Community pharmacists will blanket hundreds of Congressional offices this week in conjunction with the NCPA Legislative Conference. To augment their efforts to advance pro-patient, pro-pharmacist policies NCPA developed advertisements for the Washington audience.

Continue reading ‘NCPA Ads Champion Pharmacy Choice, Generic Drug Payment Issues’

PBM Lobbyist’s Testimony Helps Make Case for Greater MAC Scrutiny

By Michael Rule

During recent testimony before the Florida House Health Innovation Subcommittee, a representative for Express Scripts, the nation’s largest Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM), testified that there are 2,000 brand name drugs with no generic alternative, subject to maximum allowable costs (MAC) pricing. (Video available here, Express Scripts Testimony Starts at the 59:40 mark)

Continue reading ‘PBM Lobbyist’s Testimony Helps Make Case for Greater MAC Scrutiny’


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