Legislators to Azar: Eliminate retroactive DIR fees

More than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate have urged HHS Secretary Alex Azar to act on a proposal that would effectively end DIR fees, by mandating that all pharmacy price concessions be accounted for at the pharmacy counter, the National Community Pharmacists Association said. In a statement, NCPA CEO B.

More than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate have urged HHS Secretary Alex Azar to act on a proposal that would effectively end DIR fees, by mandating that all pharmacy price concessions be accounted for at the pharmacy counter, the National Community Pharmacists Association said. In a statement, NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey noted: "Retroactive fees charged to pharmacies weeks or months after a prescription is dispensed artificially inflate costs to patients. Any comprehensive plan aimed at reducing patient prescription drug costs simply must address this issue." Hoey praised the pharmacy community's efforts and the many messages sent by individual pharmacists that have raised awareness and support for the letters sent to Azar by 21 senators and 83 members of the House. The letters said: "DIR fees imposed on pharmacies participating in Medicare Part D networks by plan sponsors and their pharmacy benefit managers have exploded in recent years and have had a crippling impact on patients, Medicare, and pharmacies. The retroactive nature of these fees means beneficiaries face higher cost-sharing for drugs and are accelerated into the coverage gap (or 'donut hole') phase of their benefit. What's more, beneficiaries more quickly reach the catastrophic phase of the benefit, for which Medicare incurs more of the cost of the drugs."