Specialty Rxs Require a Special Dispensing Fee Pharmacy Groups Tell CMS: Concerned that states may not fully cover the cost of acquiring and dispensing Medicaid specialty drugs, NCPA, NACDS and the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) wrote to CMS this week, seeking a meeting. The few states that have collected data found there was a significantly higher cost of dispensing specialty drugs as compared to traditional prescription drugs. Absent CMS policy guidance to states, there is the potential that all specialty products will generally be reimbursed significantly below cost. The cost of dispensing specialty drugs per prescription, according to state studies, ranged from $92.54 (Michigan) and $104.03 (Wisconsin) to $175.31 (Ohio).
There’s Still Time to Make a Difference—Share the Truth About PBMs on Capitol Hill at NCPA’s Fly-In: Attend the NCPA Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In April 26-27 and meet with your elected officials on their turf: Capitol Hill. Urge them to stand for community pharmacy and support critical legislation protecting your patients and your business, including bills to ban retroactive pharmacy DIR fees, improve MAC transparency, and increase pharmacy choice and access for patients. Due to the new, shorter format of this year’s meeting, the Hilton Alexandria will serve as the anchor hotel, but we do not have a room block in order to give you more flexibility to choose a hotel that suits your needs (find a list of hotel options on the NCPA website). Register now online or by calling 1-800-544-7447.
New DIR Advocacy Infographic: Here’s a new educational aid provided by NCPA: How Retroactive Pharmacy DIR* Fees Hurt Medicare Patients & Taxpayers—a one page infographic.
Bipartisan Senate Bill Limits Opioid Prescriptions for Short Term Pain to 7 Days: This week Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced the Opioid Addiction Prevention Act of 2017 (S. 892). The legislation would require medical professionals to certify, as part of their registration with the DEA, that they won’t prescribe an opioid as an initial treatment for acute pain in an amount that exceeds a seven-day supply, and won’t provide a refill. This limit doesn’t apply to treating chronic pain, pain being treated as part of cancer care, hospice or other end-of-life care, or pain treated as part of palliative care. One possible vehicle to move the bill forward is legislation to reauthorize the FDA’s user fee programs.