National Headlines

NASP Responds to New Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against CVS Health Alleging Collusion with PBMs

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new class-action lawsuit filed against CVS Health alleges that the company knowingly colludes with third party pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to increase profits and drive up the cost of generic prescription drugs. Following the lawsuit’s filing on Monday in the District Court of Rhode Island, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy‘s Executive Director, Sheila Arquette, released the following statement:

“Fraud, waste and abuse is one of the single most important drivers of escalating costs in any business, and healthcare is no exception. Especially in matters of life or death – like healthcare – fraud, waste and abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. 

Escalating healthcare costs consistently ranks as one of the top things keeping Americans up at night, and the effects reach beyond patients, as well as the healthcare providers and pharmacies that work to keep them as healthy as possible.

Unfortunately, the current market dynamics and lack of transparency make it very difficult for patients and healthcare providers to navigate the increasingly complex healthcare and drug delivery system.

NASP will continuing working with Washington, individual states, and others in the healthcare delivery channel to institute reforms that will not only benefit patients and healthcare providers, but taxpayers alike.

We are at the table, eager to find actionable solutions to ensure the highest quality care and patient satisfaction possible, especially when it comes to providing affordable medications and support services for patients, their families and caregivers as they work to manage tough conditions.

We hope big PBMs will join us at the table, so we can work together to contain prescription drug costs.  More transparency from big PBMs, along with others in the prescription drug supply chain, are critical to this important effort.”

Specialty Pharmacy | Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020. Examples of illnesses that require specialty medications include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.

Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees | One of the challenges facing the industry right now is: how to help CMS and Congress stop big PBMs from imposing unfair and opaque DIR fees that increase prescription drug costs for seniors and crush specialty pharmacy’s ability to provide the care that sick seniors need. DIR fees are increasingly egregious and impose negative consequences by inflating prescription drug costs for the sickest, most vulnerable seniors – the very patients the Medicare Part D program was designed to protect. Not only that, DIR fees threaten the specialty pharmacies that serve the unique needs of patients living with complex, life-altering, and often life-threatening diseases.

National Association for Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) | NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association that represents specialty pharmacy, serving as the leading educational resource and national advocate for specialty pharmacy healthcare professionals and patients alike. In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, specialty pharmacy also features support programs and services to ensure patients maximize the benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.  NASP will convene its fifth annual conference from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C., kicking off with a keynote speech from healthcare veteran and former Lilly USA President Alex Azar, followed by two days of thought-provoking discussions on the state of specialty pharmacy (full agenda here; RSVP to nasp@skdknick.com).

CONTACT:  Maureen Shanahan | mshanahan@skdknick.com | 407-620-6046

SOURCE National Association of Specialty Pharmacy; PR Newswire

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