NCPA reacts to price increases, urges improved patient access

Following a report from the AARP Public Policy Institute, which indicated significant increases in generic drug pricing in 2013, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) released a statement Thursday, urging for improved patient access. 

According to NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey, pharmacists had reported that generic medication prices only increased since the AARP study. In a survey among community pharmacists, they state that reimbursement rates have not kept up with rising costs of generic medication, reporting jumps as high as 1,000 percent. 

"Patient access to these medications is threatened by more than their rising cost," Hoey said. "Independent community pharmacies are absorbing unsustainable losses of $100 or more on these prescriptions because insurance middlemen, known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), may wait months to raise reimbursement rates to pharmacies to cover the higher costs."

He also urged legislators to co-sponsor H.R. 244, which would require PBMs to update maximum allowable costs every week in order to reflect the market.

Generally, in the past, pharmacists would promote the use of generic medication as a cost-saving tool to patients. In the NCPA survey released in April, it indicates that 87 percent of pharmacists had to wait a month or even longer for reimbursement rates to be updated by PBMs.

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AARP Public Policy Institute Washington, D.C., DC, United States Washington, DC