Advocacy Win for Pharmacists & Patients: DIR Fee Reform Included in Bipartisan Senate Finance Drug Pricing Legislation

Dec 13, 2019

AmerisourceBergen and Good Neighbor Pharmacy support fair and transparent reimbursement for pharmacists and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients at the pharmacy counter.  We’re proud to join pharmacists in all settings in the ongoing effort to encourage Congress to reform direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, a major barrier to transparency for pharmacists and a key driver of patient costs.  Through meetings on Capitol Hill, legislative visits to our customers’ pharmacies, grassroots advocacy via phone calls, letters and emails, and encouraging customer involvement in the legislative process during ThoughtSpot, we have allied with customers to ask Congress to support DIR reform. 

Over the last two years, several pharmacy organizations have coalesced to advocate for DIR fee reform including the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA); National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS); National Association of Specialty Pharmacies (NASP); American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP); Food Marketing Institute (FMI); National Grocers Association (NGA); American Pharmacists Association (APhA); and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA).  Pharmacists’ have important and impactful voices in Washington, D.C. and in state legislatures. 

We are pleased to report that this robust coalition, which was spearheaded by community pharmacists’ advocacy, recently achieved a major advocacy milestone.  On December 6th, the Senate Finance Committee released an updated bipartisan version of S. 2543, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA), and included language to require pharmacy price concessions be included in negotiated price at the point of sale for Medicare Part D beginning in 2022.  This language would also prohibit retroactive DIR fees and would allow positive post point-of-sale incentive payments for pharmacies in addition to establishing pharmacy quality metrics in 2022.  This is the first time DIR fee reform has been included in a major legislative vehicle, and this issue continues to build bipartisan support.  The PDPRA is one of several major drug pricing bills Congress is considering and still requires a full Senate vote for advancement.  We will continue to urge Congress to advance legislation for patients and pharmacists to receive the lowest negotiated price at the pharmacy counter.

If you are active on social media, we encourage you to share your gratitude and appreciation with Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Wyden for including this provision in the revised version of their bipartisan drug pricing legislation.