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The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging a congressional panel to reject proposals that would force military families to use mail-order services to fill prescriptions.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is urging a congressional panel to reject proposals that would force military families to use mail-order services to fill prescriptions.
The panel, the House Armed Services Committee, is working on the defense portion of President Obama’s 2014 budget. It is considering changes to the TRICARE program, including increasing pharmacy copayments and forcing military families and veterans to obtain prescriptions through the mail.
Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, NACDS’ president and CEO, said the proposed changes would increase TRICARE’s costs and restrict choices for service members, retirees, and their families.
“According to [the government’s] own analysis, in the case of generic medications, mail order is more expensive than the retail-pharmacy network,” Anderson wrote in a letter to the committee May 21. “Pharmacy copayments are encouraging TRICARE beneficiaries to obtain generic prescription drugs from the more expensive outlet.”â¨
The administration has proposed shifting TRICARE patients away from local pharmacies and into the TRICARE Mail Order Pharmacy. NACDS believes such a move would hurt both plan participants and local pharmacies. “We support availability of generic, formulary, and non-formulary medications in both the retail and mail-order settings, “ Anderson wrote. “Rather than driving TRICARE beneficiaries to mail order even when it is more costly to the [government], we favor encouraging beneficiaries to use the most cost-effective medication that meets their needs, obtained from their choice of pharmacy provider.”