Federal Issues

Changes to DIR Fees Featured in CMS’ Proposed Rule for 2020

On Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their proposed rule for 2020 titled Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses. The proposed rule supplements President Trump’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs that was released in May 2018…

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Kansas General Election Results

After several months of hard campaigning in state and national elections, the suspense is finally over. Laura Kelly will be the next governor of Kansas, the third person to serve as Governor in a ten-month span. The Kansas House will have many new faces next session, along with a handful of changes in the Senate,…

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President Signs Opioid Legislation into Law

Today, President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act into law to further address the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 49,000 people died from opioid overdose in 2017. The bill, which passed out of Congress with bipartisan support, is aimed to help…

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President Signs ‘Gag Clause’ Bills into Law

Today, President Trump signed two bills into law that will allow pharmacists to disclose the lowest cost of prescriptions to their patients. Previously, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have enforced so-called “gag clauses” that prohibited pharmacists from informing their patients if they could purchase their prescriptions for a lower cost out-of-pocket vs. through insurance. The Patient…

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Bills Banning Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ Head to President’s Desk

Yesterday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills that would prohibit “gag clauses” by health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Gag clauses prohibit pharmacists from preemptively informing customers if their prescription would cost less if they paid out of pocket versus paying through insurance. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know…

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Senate passes bill banning pharmacy ‘gag clauses’ for Medicare Part D

Last Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill designed to stop the restrictions and PBM threats tied to “gag clauses” in Medicare Part D plans. The bill, also known as the Know the Lowest Price Act, would allow pharmacists to inform their Medicare Part D patients if the cash price for a prescription is lower than…

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HHS Secretary Azar Expresses Concern about DIR Fees

Earlier this week, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke to the House Committee on Education and Workforce about the policies and priorities of his agency. He touched on several topics including the opioid epidemic, mental health, and prescription drug prices. Azar also spoke about gag clauses and DIR fees during…

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President Announces Plan to Cut Drug Prices

On Friday, May 11, President Trump spelled out his plan to bring lower prescription prices to consumers. In doing so, his rhetoric included pointed remarks – “Everyone involved in the broken system – the drug makers, insurance companies, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and many others – contribute to this problem.” The plan is called a…

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CMS Issues Final Rule on 2019 Part D Plans

On Monday, April 2, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its final rule and call letter for 2019 Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. While KPSC, IPC, and our partners in Washington review this 1,000 page rule from CMS, we wanted to provide you with NCPA’s update on some of the…

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NCPA Fighting Back on Mergers

The last few weeks have seen some major shakeups in the pharmacy industry. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law in Washington, D.C. met to discuss the proposed $69 billion CVS Health-Aetna merger. NCPA provided a statement to the subcommittee on behalf of independent pharmacies across the…

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