National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) Encouraged by Administration’s Drug Pricing Reform, Seeks Improvements Now for Access and Cost for Specialty Patients

May 11, 2018 · NASP News

For Immediate Release

View Press Release

May 11, 2018

Contact: Sheila Arquette, Executive Director, (703) 842-0122

WASHINGTON, DC – May 11, 2018 – The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) applauds President Trump’s effort to rein in the high cost of prescription drugs but wants to ensure efforts are underway to make needed reforms that will support the needs of specialty pharmacy patients living with life-threatening medical conditions.

“American Patients First,” released today as a blueprint for drug pricing reform, includes numerous proposals with additional reforms being raised in a Request for Information (RFI).  The announcement follows the administration’s earlier effort to seek information on potential policy for applying pharmacy price concessions charged by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to the price of the drug at the point of sale.  The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) has long advocated for changing this system.

The largest PBMs, referred to by the President as “middlemen getting rich,” impose retroactive fees on pharmacies on the sale of prescription drugs that do nothing to support patient care or lower patient cost.  As a result, specialty pharmacies are often reimbursed by PBMs for less than their costs to obtain the life-saving medications they dispense, threatening the ability for specialty pharmacies to provide medication compliance and essential care coordination services for patients with complex conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and HIV/AIDS.  These fees threaten quality, affordable care for seniors while allowing the largest PBMs to keep more Medicare dollars for themselves.

“Today we heard the President say we must stop the profiteering at the expense of our seniors and the Medicare program, and NASP couldn’t agree more. It is high time the administration collaborate with Congress and put an end to the anti-competitive practices of the largest vertically integrated pharmacy benefit managers (PBM),” said Sheila Arquette, R.Ph., NASP Executive Director.  “These practices increase costs to seniors, threaten access to medications for seniors living with severe and rare complex conditions, and impose what amounts to excessive taxes on specialty pharmacies, putting them at a competitive disadvantage.  It is time to take action and protect seniors’ access to specialty pharmacy medications and services.”

NASP is closely examining all of the drug pricing reform proposals released today.  We will consider the impact on specialty pharmacy patients and look forward to working in collaboration with the administration and Congress.

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The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) is the only national association representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry.  NASP members include the nation’s leading independent specialty pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers, group purchasing organizations, patient advocacy groups, integrated delivery systems and health plans, technology and data management vendors, wholesalers/distributors and ​​​practicing pharmacists.  With over 100 corporate members and 1,200 individual members, NASP is the unified voice of specialty pharmacy in the United States.