New tool to advance RX community's reform priorities
WASHINGTON — With the Senate Finance Committee expected to begin making decisions on spending bills as early as today, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has launched a telephone hotline — (866) DIR-RE4M — that pharmacy advocates can use to urge the inclusion of DIR fee relief in drug-pricing legislation. An NACDS RxImpact grassroots action alert empowers pharmacies to call the hotline to hear an update on DIR, type in ZIP codes and be directly patched to hometown senators from 31 states. All advocates can write letters to their members of Congress by using the grassroots action alert tool.
The phone hotline builds on NACDS’ release of cable, broadcast and digital ads that are making the case that “DIR is DIRE.” In addition, the association recently brought a group of board members to Washington to lobby members of Congress on the issue.
NACDS is seeking legislative relief from the burden of DIR fees after the Department of Health and Human Services reversed course on a proposed rule that would have redefined “negotiated price” under Medicare Part D, making it the lowest possible payment to a pharmacy. The revision would have countered the abuse of DIR fees by pharmacy benefits managers and other payers. Under the current system, payments to pharmacies can be retroactively reduced by the application of muddled criteria that are inconsistently applied. The proposed rule suggested that DIR fees have resulted in higher prices for patients and an untenable degree of financial uncertainty for pharmacies