NCPA expresses support of Rep. Berry's healthcare-reform bill

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A new healthcare-reform bill introduced Thursday by Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., included several provisions that strengthen the ability of community pharmacies to provide services to their patients, an organization representing the nation's independent pharmacists said.

If it is passed, H.R. 8413 would:

  • Exempt community pharmacies from the Medicare Part B durable medical equipment, orthotics, prosthetics and supplies accreditation requirement that threatens seniors’ access to diabetes testing supplies and other essential medical products
  • Expose the expensive, hidden costs imposed on patients and health plan sponsors by pharmacy benefit managers
  • Provide reasonable pharmacy reimbursement (a federal upper limit of 300% of the weighted average manufacturer price) for Medicaid generic prescription drugs.

In response, the National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts said that Berry's knowledge of pharmacy (as a former pharmacist himself) and its role in patient care are emphasized in the bill.

“[We] support the pharmacy provisions contained in H.R. 4813,” Roberts said. “As the leaders in the House, Senate and White House attempt to conclude their comprehensive health care reform efforts, we hope that they follow Berry’s lead. Pharmacists should be exempted from the ill-advised DMEPOS accreditation requirement. Those paying the bills deserve real transparency from the unaccountable PBM industry. Fair reimbursement levels for Medicaid generic prescription drugs will allow community pharmacies to continue offering those services to our most economically disadvantaged citizens.”