NACDS releases statement urging recognition of pharmacists
The Commerce Subcommittee on Health received the statement during hearing to discuss the fiscal 2015 budget for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which included testimony by Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews.
“Recognition of pharmacists as providers under Medicare Part B would help to provide valuable and convenient pharmacist services to millions of Americans, and most importantly, those who are already medically underserved,” the NACDS said. “Although retail community pharmacists can provide high quality, cost efficient care, the lack of pharmacist recognition as a provider by third party payers including Medicare and Medicaid has limited the number and types of services pharmacists can provide, even though fully qualified to do so.”
The NACDS said that retail pharmacies are often the most readily accessible health care provider.
In its statement, the NACDs expressed concerns with some HHS budget proposals, including provisions that exclude brand and authorized generic drugs from the calculation of average manufacturer price and limit Medicaid reimbursement for durable medical equipment to the rates paid by Medicare.
The NACDS supported a HHS budget provision that would increase the use of generic drugs, because the increased utilization of generic drugs is one of the most effective ways of lowering prescription drug costs.