The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) is pleased to offer its support for the “Medicare Part D Patient Safety and Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2013.” The legislation, HR 3392, sponsored by Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), gives drug plans the same authority to prevent fraud and abuse in Part D as they currently have in Medicare Parts A & B. The bill also directs Part D drug plans to create safe pharmacy networks to dispense controlled substances to those beneficiaries at high-risk for abuse.
“Prescription drug abuse is the rare issue that unites rather than divides both political parties,“said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “This bill has the potential to save lives and eliminate billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse.”
HR 3392 compliments other legislative proposals in Congress to combat prescription drug abuse and fraud. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse a national epidemic that costs 20,000 lives and $72 billion a year.
Recently, PCMA released a set of policy solutions—The Safe Rx Initiative—to reduce prescription drug abuse and fraud and make it more difficult to “drugstore shop” at multiple pharmacies.
Important policies in HR 3392 include:
- Establishing a network of “safe pharmacies” to provide access to controlled substances to beneficiaries at high-risk for abuse.
- Giving Part D drug plans the same authority as Parts A and B to suspend reimbursements based on a “credible allegation” of prescription drug fraud, waste, or abuse.
- Requiring e-prescriptions for controlled substances.
- Improving communications and reporting for the Part D MEDICS program.