August 23, 2012
(Washington, DC)—A new report released today by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) examines how recent Congressional hearings and government investigations have raised serious questions about opaque business practices and pricing strategies within the independent drugstore industry, which now generates $93 billion in annual sales from 23,000 stores nationwide and ranks among America’s most profitable small business sectors.
At independent drugstores, the owner, cashier, and book keeper are often one and the same. These factors make independent drugstores more susceptible to irregularities and make oversight more challenging. The new report highlights three basic questions policymakers are asking of independent drugstores:
- Why are independent drugstores eight times more likely than other pharmacies to submit questionable bills to Medicare?
- Are independent drugstores exploiting the drug shortage crisis?
- Why are independent drugstores fighting bipartisan efforts to reduce drug diversion?
“This presents new challenges to policymakers. Though independent drugstores want new laws to reduce accountability, these findings indicate that they may require more—not less—oversight,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “The independent drugstore lobby supports HR 1971 and HR 4215 to make pharmacy audits more difficult.”
Read the new report: Should Independent Drugstores Be More Accountable? Inquiries into Improper Medicare Billing, Drug Diversion, and Drug Shortage Activities Raise Serious Questions