Navigation Links
It's No Joke: Independent Drugstores Want Congress to Help Them Raise Prescription Drug Costs
Date:5/24/2011

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Congress seeks solutions to lower health spending, the independent drugstore lobby is pushing new laws that will help them raise prescription drug costs. The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) has launched a new ad campaign highlighting this costly special interest agenda.

Click here to view the new ad

"Granting independent drugstores new powers to collectively bargain, evade routine, anti-fraud audits, and undermine competition will make drug costs skyrocket for consumers, taxpayers, employers, and unions," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

Independent Drugstore Lobby Agenda: Higher Costs, Less Accountability

New Collective Bargaining Rights. Independent drugstores enjoy numerous bargaining tools to gain market power in government and commercial programs, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stated that: "Giving health care providers . . . a license to engage in price fixing and boycotts in order to extract higher payments from third-party payers would be a costly step backward, not forward, on the path to a better health care system."

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that special anti-trust protections for independent pharmacists would increase federal costs by $640 million over ten years and that increased drug costs to private health plans, employers, and consumers would result in "reductions in the scope or generosity of health insurance benefits, such as increased deductibles or higher copayments." CBO's analysis also shows that cost increases would be passed along to workers, reducing "both their taxable compensation and other fringe benefits."

Fraud, Waste, and Abuse. A recent white paper published by the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA), the leading national organization focused exclusively on combating health care fraud, also warns against the kind of legislative proposals promoted by the independent pharmacy lobby. The paper, the "Seven Guiding Principles for Policymakers," seeks to address the estimated $70 to $234 billion in annual financial losses resulting from fraud throughout the health care system and warns policymakers to avoid policies that could undermine fraud fighting efforts, including:

  • Policies that undermine authority across Medicare to suspend payments when there is suspicion of fraud. The ability to stop fraud before paying a claim is more effective and more efficient than relying on paying first and then chasing after claims that are later found to be fraudulent. Congress should extend to Medicare Part D and independent drugstores the recently enacted statutory authority Congress provided in Medicare Parts A and B to suspend payment to health care providers upon a credible allegation of fraud, waste, or abuse.
  • Policies that reduce payers' time to verify pharmacy claims before payment ("Prompt Pay" policies). NHCAA states: "if claims are not rushed through the payment process, auditors and investigators will have more opportunities to detect attempts at fraud before they come to fruition." So-called "prompt pay" laws in Medicare Part D that mandate rapid payment to independent pharmacies reduce the time available to detect pharmacy fraud, waste, and abuse.
  • Policies that make payers partner with pharmacies that are banned from federal programs ("Any Willing Pharmacy" policies). Legislation that would force plans to include in their networks pharmacies that have been banned from federal programs "runs counter" to preventing fraud, according to NHCAA. This low bar would allow admission for pharmacists "even if they have records of harmful prescription errors or a high number of consumer complaints."
  • Policies that undermine payers' ability to audit independent pharmacies suspected of fraud ("Audit Reform" policies). NHCAA supports measures that would "protect the integrity of health care audits by giving auditors more discretion and flexibility to perform their duties." Unfortunately, legislation championed by the independent drugstore lobby would instead grant pharmacies (even those with wasteful or abusive practices) an advance notice "heads up" before performing audits.

PCMA represents the nation's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 200-plus million Americans


'/>"/>
SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Eveo Ranked #1 Independent Digital Healthcare Agency in U.S. 2nd Year in a Row
2. Independent Investigator Initiates Phase 1 Study of Biodels Ultra-Rapid-Acting Insulin Formulations in Patients Using Insulin Pumps
3. NCPA Backs Bill to Enhance Pharmacy Competition; Help Level Playing Field for Independent Community Pharmacists
4. Texas Independent Drugstore Lobby (Continues) Putting Profits Ahead of Patients
5. Consumer Reports Drugstore Ratings: 94% of Shoppers "Highly Satisfied" With Independents; Some Irked By Long Waits at Big Box Stores
6. Legislation Would Deny Floridians Access to Needed Medicines from Their Trusted Independent Community Pharmacies, and Instead Favor Publicly Traded Chain Pharmacies
7. Managed Health Care Associates, Inc. (MHA) Released Results of Fourth Annual Independent Long Term Care Member Study with Highlights of Specialty Pharmaceutical Product Utilization
8. Independent Study Reports 50% Smaller Carbon Footprint With NxStage System One™ vs. Standard In-Center Hemodialysis Machines
9. Lilly Marks Major Milestone for Mirror Portfolio with Agreement by Independent Fund to License First Two Investigational Medicines
10. Frost & Sullivan Recognizes BeClose as a Technology Innovator for Aging Independently in North America
11. Independent Clinical Research Confirms Clinical Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness of the SurgiCount Safety-Sponge® System
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  True Health, a leader in integrated ... during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to educate ... Research recently published ... more than 10 million American women are at ... or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These mutations ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... EXTON, Pa. , Oct. 10, 2017   ... leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today ... of West,s ID Adapter for improving the intradermal administration ... the Fourth Skin Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by ... Team Lead, Polio Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... SEOUL, South Korea , Oct. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... launched its next-generation CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. ... of chest compression during cardiac arrests with better efficiency ... patient-mannequins. It also offers real-time feedback on efficacy of ... The crowdfunding campaign has a goal to raise ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Milford, NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... weekend at scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by ... and physical activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... provider of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by ... (EATS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to ... and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through ... AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):