Drug Store News

By Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 26) Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Zack Space, D-Ohio, Lee Terry, R-Neb. and Peter Welch, D-Vt., have sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommending CMS keep prices for its national Competitive Bidding Program for Medicare Part B mail-order diabetes testing supplies separate from similar supplies offered by retail pharmacies, the National Association of Community Pharmacists announced Thursday.

The Representatives argue that retail pharmacy, especially independent community pharmacies that are traditionally located in underserved areas, would incur significant financial losses under any sort of CBP pricing model that could force pharmacies to stop selling DTS to seniors. So while CMS has presently exempted retail pharmacy from the CBP requirement, the lack of clarification about how and when future CBP pricing might be applied to retail pharmacy “is worrisome and needs to be prevented.”

“We commend Reps. Rogers, Space, Terry and Welch for their leadership and foresight in heading off a potential problem that could see millions of seniors lose access to diabetes testing supplies at their local pharmacies,” stated Douglas Hoey, NACP acting EVP and CEO. “This is not only a matter of convenience, but of adherence, as pharmacists have the expertise to ensure the supplies are being used correctly. Planning for future contingencies is what every successful entrepreneur faces, and that is why this full court press to garner an ironclad commitment from CMS is occurring. CMS must keep mail order and pharmacy pricing separate.”