Celebrating Independent Pharmacy Champion Pete Stern – Part One

With Currus CEO Pete Stern retiring this fall, we take a look back at what brought him to the world of pharmacy and some of the accomplishments the organization saw under his first decade of leadership (1990-99).    Where are you from? I was born in Houston, Texas. What brought you to Kansas? I came…

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No DIR Reform in CMS’ 2020 Final Drug Pricing Rule

Despite over 4,000 comments from pharmacists and organizations like Currus, NCPA, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and others across the country encouraging change, CMS elected not to address DIR reform in their final 2020 drug pricing rule released on Thursday. CMS said in a statement that they “will continue to carefully review…

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Thousands Sign on in Support of DIR Proposal

According to NCPA, nearly 3,500 pharmacists and over 150 pharmacy stakeholder organizations have supported a potential change in DIR fees in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed pricing rule for 2020. The proposed change would eliminate retroactive DIR fees and issue them at the point of sale. This move would save patients…

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Everything Old is New Again?

Image courtesy of MorningConsult.com

National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO Douglas Hoey recently wrote an op-ed piece for Morning Consult on behalf of independent pharmacies. In the piece he gives a thoughtful reminder about some of the personalized services that independent pharmacies have been providing patients for years – despite mergers and mail order making headlines regarding their “new” services.…

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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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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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