CMS proposes shorter drug cycle rule in long-term care to limit pharmaceutical waste

Share this content:

The National Community Pharmacists Association said Tuesday that it fully supports a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that requires pharmacies to only dispense brand name drugs in seven-day cycles in long-term care facilities, instead of the existing 30-day cycle. 

The shortened number of days is an attempt to limit pharmaceutical waste in the healthcare system and support independent pharmacies. The NCPA, which created a Long-Term Care Division this year to advocate for patients and pharmacies in long-term care settings, sent CMS a letter in June requesting this change.

In it's June letter to CMS, the NCPA wrote:

“This new policy is an opportunity to utilize community pharmacists to produce real savings for Medicare, beneficiaries and Part D plan sponsors and allow pharmacists to be recognized for the value of those services to patients and the overall system. As currently written, the proposed rule only provides guidance to Part D plan sponsors to ensure that the dispensing fees paid to pharmacies take into account the additional time that will have to be taken.”