Pharmacist groups hail CMS delay on final short-cycle dispensing rule

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Douglas Hoey, NCPA executive vice president and CEO
Douglas Hoey, NCPA executive vice president and CEO
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday a one-year delay in the implementation of its final short-cycle dispensing rule. The rule is now set to into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

While CMS will still require reporting of unused drugs to Part D sponsors, it eliminated the requirement for long-term care facilities to return dispensed but unused drugs. The agency also extended the window for dispensing Medicare Part D-covered solid oral brand-name drugs to beneficiaries living in eldercare facilities from seven days-or-less to 14 days-or-less.

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the National Community Pharmacists Association applauded the rule's delay. NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO Douglas Hoey, RPh, stressed the continuing need for more research.

“There is no creditable evidence that this proposed move to shorter dispensing cycles would reduce costs and, in the end, we fear it could actually increase costs for taxpayers,” Hoey said. “That's why a broad coalition of lawmakers and health care providers is urging CMS to hold off on the program to allow for data gathering necessary to implement this program intelligently.”