Alexandria, VA - July 19, 2010
As the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) prepares to make some important decisions regarding the provision of pharmacy benefits to millions of Americans, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today offered specific recommendations to preserve patient choice, while lowering drug costs for taxpayers.
"Greater federal and state oversight of pharmacy benefit managers is needed to address the problems local pharmacists and their patients continue to face in dealing with these unregulated entities," said NCPA Acting Executive Vice President and CEO Douglas Hoey, RPh. "PBMs have been permitted to operate virtually unchecked, slowed only by the increasing amount of litigation filed each year alleging fraudulent and deceptive business practices. OPM has a golden opportunity to address these issues. To that end, we encourage the agency to adopt transparent PBM policies to reduce costs and protect patient choice."
NCPA's letter to OPM, available in its entirety here, addresses two major areas in which the federal agency is expected to develop far-reaching pharmacy policies:
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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