National LTC Pharmacy Advocacy Group Praises HELP Discussion Draft Bill, Offers Comments on Drug Pricing and PBM Transparency Recommendations

Washington, DC – In offering detailed comments today on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s Bipartisan Discussion Draft Legislation to Reduce Health Care Costs, released by the full Committee on May 23, the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) praised multiple provisions of the panel’s drug pricing and pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) transparency recommendations and also proposed modifications.

SCPC, the only Washington-based organization exclusively representing the interests of LTC pharmacies and their patients, respectfully urged the panel to consider the inclusion of a statutory federal definition of “long-term care (LTC) pharmacy” to better serve and protect the medication prerogatives of its elderly skilled nursing and assisted living facility (SNF/ALF)-based patient population.

“The Committee draft implicitly recognizes the labyrinthine and opaque business relationships between Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs), PBMs and their affiliated LTC, mail order and retail pharmacies through some of the proposed ‘controlled pharmacy’ provisions,” said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President and CEO of SCPC, in praising the draft. “The recommendations from Chairman Alexander, Ranking Member Murray and the full Committee are a thoughtful policy template with which to advance transparency, expand disclosure and help consumers.”

SCPC, in recommending the Committee consider adding a statutory definition of LTC pharmacy to the bill, noted there are substantial differences between the LTC patient population and the general population and between the clinical services provided by LTC pharmacies and those provided by retail or mail-order pharmacies for LTC patients. The HELP draft does not define pharmacies in general or LTC pharmacies in particular.

“We believe there are provisions of the draft that apply to providers which should also apply to LTC pharmacies as well,” observed Rosenbloom. “Since the draft does not define provider, pharmacies inadvertently could be excluded from these protections.  This is yet another example of the need for a clear statutory definition of LTC pharmacy.” SCPC has developed draft legislation to accomplish this purpose.

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The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) is the only national organization exclusively representing the interests of LTC pharmacies. Its members operate in all 50 states and serve 850,000 patients daily in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across the country. Visit seniorcarepharmacies.org  to learn more.