Senators introduce DIR reform legislation

NCPA June 21, 2023

On June 20, Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Shelley Moore-Capito (R-W.Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced the Protect Patient Access to Pharmacies Act (S. 2052). This bill provides long-sought reform of abusive business practices that have permitted the monstrous growth of direct and indirect remuneration fees collected by Medicare Part D plans from pharmacies that are resulting in pharmacy closures throughout neighborhoods. The bill also helps to secure Medicare patients’ freedom to receive medications and care from the pharmacy of their choice by improving enforcement of the “any willing pharmacy” law intended to prevent the exclusion of pharmacies from Part D plan networks. Specifically, the legislation ensures that, at a minimum, a pharmacy’s costs to acquire and to dispense a covered Part D drug to beneficiaries are covered so that pharmacies have at least the option to participate in a Part D network. NCPA applauds the senators for advancing this solution to address devastating pharmacy DIR fees and tactics that exclude pharmacies from Part D plan networks and eliminate seniors’ freedom to keep or even choose their pharmacy, and pledges to continue to work with leaders in Congress to enact this legislation this year, achieving comprehensive PBM reform.