NCPA CEO Asks Trump to Fix DIR Fees

Industry News
July 22, 2020 By

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a letter to President Trump, National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey says that as part of any efforts on drug pricing, the administration must eliminate back-door fees that insurance companies use to increase drug costs for seniors and gouge local pharmacies.

“Insurance companies are using their prescription drug management divisions – PBMs – to raise prescription prices on seniors at the pharmacy counter using a secretive payment system called pharmacy DIR. Pharmacy DIR fees increase prescription drug costs. Period. They are not only bad for seniors but are also detrimental to taxpayers and neighborhood pharmacies. If policymakers were to change the current policy and end the secretive rebate game without also reforming pharmacy DIR, there is no doubt in my mind that PBMs will maneuver to leverage even more DIR fees to make up the difference,” said Hoey. “To be effective, administration efforts on drug pricing must include pharmacy DIR fee reform, a vital component in truly lowering drug costs and maintaining access to community pharmacy services.”