APhA urges plans and payers to immediately act to ensure patients have access to lifesaving COVID-19 oral medications via their pharmacist
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) issued the following statement in response to plans and payers, including PBMs, setting the dispensing fee for new COVID‐19 oral antiviral therapies below pharmacies’ costs to dispense these lifesaving medications:
Pharmacists have diligently and vigilantly provided essential patient care services throughout the pandemic. Access to newly authorized COVID-19 oral antivirals has the potential to save lives and preserve precious health care resources for patients with more severe infections. Due to paltry pharmacist dispensing fees—as low as $1.00 for a process that can take up to one hour and includes many patient safety checks—patient access may be compromised.
PBMs’ and plans’ refusal to appropriately cover pharmacists’ efforts and the requirements necessary to dispense these COVID-19 oral antiviral medications are irresponsible and unnecessarily put patients’ access to these lifesaving medications at risk.
CMS, plans, PBMs, and other payers must take immediate action to provide adequate and appropriate pharmacists’ payment for dispensing COVID-19 oral antivirals to ensure success of the significant investment the government has made in purchasing these products for U.S. patients.
APhA is the only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession. Our expert staff and strong volunteer leadership, including many experienced pharmacists, allow us to deliver vital leadership to help pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians find success and satisfaction in their work while advocating for changes that benefit them, their patients, and their communities. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.
CONTACT: Renee Kalu