Lawmakers urge Trump administration action on DIR fees

Congressional legislators have joined APhA and other pharmacy organizations in calling on the Trump administration to address pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees.

Congressional legislators have joined APhA and other pharmacy organizations in calling on the Trump administration to address pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees. More than 100 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Donald Trump citing the "missed opportunity" to reduce older adults' out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs when pharmacy DIR fee reform was excluded from a recent Medicare rule. The legislators—led by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Buddy Carter (R-GA), and Morgan Griffith (R-VA)—urged the administration to finalize pharmacy DIR reform this year. Twenty-eight members of the Senate—led by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT)—sent a similar letter last week. The letter from House members cited CMS data indicating that "DIR fees on pharmacies participating in Part D grew by 45,000% between 2010 and 2017," warning that "until pharmacy DIR fee reform occurs, seniors will continue to pay higher cost-sharing for their prescription drugs." Pharmacy organizations including APhA issued a joint statement praising the "strong and bipartisan demonstration that DIR fee relief is needed now, to deliver savings to patients and to the Medicare program, and for the viability of pharmacies."