Using Social Media to Create Connections with Your Legislators–Urge Them to #FixDIR Fees!

Status of DIR Fee Reform

In November 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Contract Year 2020 Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage proposed rule to help lower drug prices for seniors including a policy to reform DIR fees by requiring all price concessions be accounted for in the “negotiated” price. Despite receiving 4,000+ comments on this policy proposal to reform DIR fees for pharmacies, surprisingly, CMS finalized the Part D rule in May 2019 and did not include DIR fee reform.

CMS’s decision is a significant disappointment for pharmacies and patients.  If CMS will not address DIR, then Congress must act.  Pharmacy advocates have united to advocate for legislation this year to reform DIR fees via H.R. 1034/S. 640, The Phair Pricing Act, a bipartisan bill led by Reps. Collins (R-GA) & Gonzalez (D-TX) and Sens. Tester (D-MT) and Kennedy (R-LA).

Advocacy Messages 

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for a Conversation Guide and Relationship Building Roadmap to aid your conversations. 

• Retroactive DIR fees charged to pharmacies by PBMs and health plans are hurting Medicare, taxpayers, pharmacies and patients.  Reforming DIR fees is a direct way Congress can act this year to address misuse of DIR and lower drug prices.
• Unpredictable DIR fees have increased 45,000% since 2010, force patients in the Medicare Part D donut hole and create higher costs for patients at the pharmacy counter. Congress must act this year to ensure price transparency for pharmacies & patients.
• Ask your legislator to cosponsor H.R. 1034/S. 640 & urge Speaker Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi), Minority Leader McCarthy (@GOPLeader), Majority Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) & Minority Leader Schumer (@SenSchumer) to fix DIR in drug pricing legislation this year.  Please visit my pharmacy in August or during another Congressional recess so you can see firsthand how DIR fees raise drug costs for seniors and hurt pharmacies.

Deliver Your Message on Social Media 

• Identify your Members of Congress and House/Senate leadership using our legislator look-up tool
• Communicate with your legislators and House/Senate leadership on social media using the recommendations below to get started. Make sure you personalize your message and use the hashtag #FixDIR
• Stay connected, keep posting on social media and follow-up with an invite to your legislators to visit your pharmacy

Sample Tweets:

• Please support legislation to #lowerdrugprices and #FixDIR. #DIR hurts Medicare, taxpayers, pharmacies & patients. @SpeakerPelosi @GOPLeader @senatemajldr @SenSchumer @RonWyden @ChuckGrassley
• #FixDIR lower costs for patients at pharmacy counter @SpeakerPelosi @GOPLeader @senatemajldr @SenSchumer @RonWyden @ChuckGrassley
• @RonWyden @ChuckGrassley @SpeakerPelosi @GOPLeader @senatemajldr @SenSchumer As Congress works to #lowerdrugprices, please prioritize & pass HR 1034/S 640 to #FixDIR this year.

Follow-Up by Phone & Email

Call:  Contact your Members of Congress via phone to reinforce your social media advocacy message. 
Email:  Use this advocacy website to email your legislators on key issues, and make sure you customize your message! 

Like and Follow Legislators & Advocacy Organizations

According to the Quorum 2018 Congressional Social Media Report, members of the 115th Congress shared over 500,000 posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube in 2018.  Elected officials at every level of government are using social media as an important channel to reach constituents. The Quorum report notes that in 2018, Members of Congress posted 338,503 times to Twitter, 210,610 times to Facebook, 26,576 times to Instagram, and 17,289 times to YouTube.   

Almost 100% of 115th U.S. Congress Posted on Official Twitter Accounts in 2018.  Engage with legislators through social media in addition to meetings, phone calls & emails.  

Follow these organizations on social media (don’t forget your state pharmacy association!):


AmerisourceBergen: 
@Advocacy_ABC
@Healthcare_ABC

Good Neighbor Pharmacy:
@WeAreGNP

NCPA:
@commpharmacy


APhA:
@pharmacists

NASPA:
@StatePharmacy