NCPA: Drug manufacturers should pay rebates in DoD's Tricare program

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association expressed support of the U.S. Department of Defense's efforts to collect the same manufacturer rebates for the Tricare retail pharmacy program that are applicable to prescriptions filled at Tricare mail-order pharmacies and military treatment facilities.

Tricare beneficiaries may lose face-to-face interaction with their pharmacists if such reimbursements are not provided to them, NCPA said. Currently, prescriptions used in the Tricare retail pharmacy network are subject to federal ceiling prices under law. NCPA believes that the DoD shouldn't be denied billions of dollars in rebates from drug manufacturers, or make Tricare members solely use mail-order prescriptions.

“The Department of Defense provides prescription drug benefits to active duty, reserve, and retired military families and wants to reduce cost, maintain access and produce the best health outcomes possible,” said Bruce Roberts, NCPA EVP and CEO. “However, drug manufacturers undercut those goals by not paying their fair share of federal ceiling prices. Studies indicate pharmacists are critical to patients in impacting medication adherence, but if drug manufacturers continue to only pay rebates for mail order prescriptions then that won’t occur. The Department of Defense should hold the drug manufacturers accountable for all their financial obligations.

“Without changes, the choice Tricare beneficiaries take for granted about where to get their prescription drugs might fall by the wayside as increased use of mail order would become an unfortunate, but possible reality,” added Roberts.