NCPA Seeks Congressional Probe of “Preferred Pharmacy” Part D Plans

The Senate and House Small Business committees should examine the unintended consequences for independent community pharmacies and patients that have resulted from Medicare Part D “preferred pharmacy” prescription drug plans, NCPA told lawmakers last week.

“Small business community pharmacies across the country are losing patients due to their inadvertent exclusion from these preferred networks,” NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist MBA wrote in a letter to the committees. “Additionally, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) itself has released data showing that these networks, in their current form, might not even be saving money for the federal government.”

Hoey continued, “We request that you schedule an oversight hearing to determine what changes need to be made to the statute in order to level the playing field for independent community pharmacies. As you know, our members serve a disproportionate share of Medicare patients in highly rural and low-income urban areas across the country; therefore it is critical that Congress continue to work to eliminate any barriers which may result in a disruption of care, counseling, or access to medications for these patients.”