PCMA white paper assailing drugstore lobby "riddled with mistakes," says NCPA

August 8, 2011

A new campaign and white paper from the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association that blasts the ?drugstore lobby? is riddled with mistakes and misleading statements, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

A new campaign and white paper from the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) that blasts the “drugstore lobby” is riddled with mistakes and misleading statements, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

In the campaign launched August 3, which PCMA has titled “The Drugstore Lobby versus Employers,” the organization criticizes the support given by independent drug stores to The Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act of 2011 (S.1058/H.R. 1971). “The drugstore lobby wants to undermine employers’ ability to root out wasteful spending on prescription drugs. That would make it harder for businesses to reduce healthcare costs and protect the benefits of their employees,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

However, the PCMA white paper is a “naked attempt to protect windfall PBM profits and executives’ Wall Street-inspired compensation packages,” said NCPA spokesman Kevin Schweers.

PCMA contends that the act would make payers partners with pharmacies that are banned from federal programs. “PCMA appears to have either selectively read S.1058/H.R. 1971 or not read it at all. The legislation’s ‘any willing provider’ provision specifically states, among the eligibility requirements, it only applies to a pharmacist or pharmacy that ‘has not been excluded from participation in any federal or state program,’” NCPA said in a statement.

In addition, the PCMA paper claims that the act would grant pharmacies - even those characterized by wasteful or abusive practices - advance notice before they are audited. “There is no such provision in either the Senate or House version of the Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act,” NCPA said.

While PCMA contends that the act would reduce the time payers have to verify pharmacy claims before payment is made and further claims that the act would undermine Medicare authority to suspend payments when there is suspicion of fraud, that is also not correct, according to NCPA. “Neither provision is contained within S.1058/ H.R. 1971,” said the NCPA statement.