Published by Drug Topics:

Direct and indirect remuneration fees have been one of the most contentious issues between retail pharmacists and PBMs and payers, which charge the “clawback” fees months after prescriptions are filled. NCPA members have said DIR fees are the top issue they would like to see resolved in 2017.

“While the proposed CMS guidance will not change existing policy with regard to DIR fees, it does have the potential to require plans to provide greater granularity to CMS on DIR amounts and the types of arrangements they put into place,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh. “The agency has responded positively to many of our previous recommendations, and even issued an analysis showing the financial havoc retroactive pharmacy DIR fees are causing patients, taxpayers, and pharmacies. We urge CMS to consider our latest suggestions on reporting by plan sponsors.”

Published by The National Community Pharmacists Association:

“By: Representatives Knight of the 130th, Hatchett of the 150th, Meadows of the 5th, Abrams of the 89th, Stephens of the 164th, and others”

Published by The National Community Pharmacists Association:

“Ban on Retroactive Fees Would Lower Costs, Help Seniors and Preserve Pharmacy Access

Part D plan sponsors and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) extract DIR (Direct and Indirect Remuneration) fees from community pharmacies. Nearly all pharmacy DIR fees are clawed back retroactively months later rather than deducted from claims on a real-time basis. This reimbursement uncertainty makes it extremely difficult for community pharmacists to operate their small businesses. This is the top concern for independent community pharmacists. Moreover, in January 2017 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) warned the rise in pharmacy DIR fees has increased Medicare costs to the government and forced more beneficiaries into the coverage gap (or “donut hole”).”

Published by The Hill:

“Medicare was created in 1966 as a promise to protect our seniors. But the security of aging Americans is increasingly threatened.

Here’s how Medicare Part D is supposed to work: seniors go to the pharmacy of their choosing, exchange their co-pay for medications, and pay a monthly premium toward a Part D insurance plan that is administered by a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). Unfortunately, big PBMs — the private insurers who sell Medicare Part D plans to seniors — are rigging the system by imposing unfair “direct and indirect remuneration fees,” or DIR fees.”

Published by The National Community Pharmacists Association:

“Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Pharmacy “DIR” Fees”

Published by Bloomberg:

“A decade ago, Caterpillar Inc. looked at its employee drug plan and sensed that money was evaporating. The bills for pills had increased inexorably, so the company started to rein in its pharmacy benefit manager, or PBM. The managers are middlemen with murky incentives behind their decisions about which drugs to cover, where they’re sold, and for how much.”

Published by Business Insider:

“It’s easy to see why EpiPen has become the focus of America’s fury over drug prices. It treats potentially deadly allergic reactions — for example, in a child who is stung by a bee — and its price has spiked by over 500% in a few years.

While it’s easy to jump all over drugmakers, like EpiPen’s maker, Mylan, other actors in the healthcare system ought to draw as much scrutiny.”

Published by Morning Consult:

“Usually when your pocket has been picked, you discover the loss pretty quickly. But many of America’s more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies are finding their reimbursements for prescription drugs reduced well after the patient hands over the co-pay and leaves with their medicine. The technical term for this transaction is a “retroactive pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee.” That’s one way of putting it.

DIR fees pick the pockets of community pharmacies and their patients.”

Published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists:

“To better understand direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, pharmacists should learn how the fees relate to Medicare’s Star rating system, says Sandra Durley, associate director for ambulatory care pharmacy for the University of Illinois (UI) Hospital & Health Sciences System.”

Published by the Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency:

“Dear PUTT Members,
If, like me, you found an unwelcome surprise in the form of a DIR Trimester 1 report statement in your mailbox, you aren’t alone. The PBM’s repugnant practice of arbitrarily reconciling contracts and reimbursements – then charging the rate differences back to us – is creating an environment of enormous unworkability, uncertainty and stress on the very industry whose mission and purpose is to provide patients with medicine to help heal or find relief when sick or in pain!”