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 two separate exchanges with Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) at the 18:44 mark and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) at the 25:05 mark.

Rep. Barletta stated that DIR fees are a detriment to community pharmacies and Part D beneficiaries and asked Secretary Azar how he plans to resolve those concerns.

Azar responded by saying “I have actually long been concerned about this question of these retroactive DIR fees being imposed on independent pharmacies to the detriment of them and to the benefit of PBM-owned pharmacies. I have asked our Inspector General at HHS to look into this issue. I think it’s important to ensure fair competition and beneficiary access.”

To hear Secretary Azar’s full remarks, watch the hearing at the designated marks above.

This information is provided courtesy of NCPA.