NCPA: Increase in use of MTM, generics to cut deficit

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing independent pharmacies is urging Congress to cut the deficit by reducing healthcare expenditures, but "without compromising patients' access to their pharmacy of choice or harming local jobs."

In a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the National Community Pharmacists Association suggested increasing use of generic drugs, encouraging services, such as medication therapy management, collecting manufacturer rebates and allowing patients to choose their pharmacies and avoid requirements to use mail-order services. These measures, the NCPA said, could reduce spending on drugs and increase medication adherence.

"We believe that significant savings can be found through simple reforms to programs like Medicare and Medicaid that will result in reduced drug costs for the federal government and consumers," NCPA CEO and EVP Douglas Hoey said. "Nothing can save the health system more money that the appropriate use of generic medications. Local pharmacists are leading the way on the proper use of these cost-cutting drugs. In addition, pharmacists, working with prescribers, can help improve the use of medications through counseling, adherence and medication therapy management programs."