NCPA endorses legislation to expand pharmacy choices for seniors

May 8, 2015

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has endorsed legislation that would expand the number of pharmacies that could offer discounted copays for Medicare Part D prescription drugs.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has endorsed legislation that would expand the number of pharmacies that could offer discounted copays for Medicare Part D prescription drugs.

S. 1190 is a companion bill to HR 793. It was introduced by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). 

NCPA believes the legislation would give seniors more choices in choosing pharmacies.

“We now have a bipartisan, bicameral solution to the conundrum many seniors face when they sign up for Medicare Part D preferred pharmacy plans before realizing their pharmacy of choice cannot offer the advertised copays,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. “Medicare beneficiaries should not be confronted with the Hobson’s choice of continuing to patronize their pharmacy at a higher cost or making a long trip to another pharmacy.”

The bills would allow Medicare beneficiaries in medically underserved areas to benefit from lower copays at any pharmacy that agrees to accept a drug plan’s preferred pharmacy terms and conditions.

Click here to see the video NCPA discussing the topic.

 

In addition to NCPA, groups that have endorsed the legislation include The Alliance for Retired Americans, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Families USA, Justice in Aging, the Medicare Rights Center, the National Consumers League, the National Rural Health Association, and the U.S. Pain Foundation.

“Many Medicare beneficiaries live on fixed incomes and struggle to afford their prescription drugs. Especially for those living in rural and underserved areas, the cost of filling a prescription out-of-network could lead seniors to forgo filling needed medications,” Sen. Brown said. “By allowing pharmacies in rural and underserved areas to participate in preferred networks, we can help seniors fill prescriptions and seek guidance on their medications without having to pay more out-of-pocket or travel to a participating pharmacy. This fix would expand access for all seniors regardless of their location, improve competition, and cut prescription drug costs.”

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