Bipartisan pharmacy negotiation bill introduced

Reps. Anthony Weiner (D, N.Y.) and Jerry Moran (R, Kan.) have introduced H.R. 971, the Community Pharmacy Fairness Act of 2007. It would create an exemption to the current antitrust law to allow community pharmacists to cooperatively negotiate contracts with Medicare Part D plans and PBMs. Officials at NCPA, which had lobbied for the bill, hailed it as a significant step for community pharmacists. Still, the prospects for the bill remain unclear. In 2005, Weiner introduced a similar bill that never came to a vote, despite 113 cosponsors. "Under current law, the hands of independent pharmacists are tied because they aren't allowed the same leverage as large chains and others, to negotiate the terms of contracts with health plans," said NCPA executive VP/CEO Bruce Roberts, R.Ph. "Passage of H.R. 971 would give these small business owners the green light—and the clout—to get a better deal for their patients."

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