Pharmacists push for study before implementing short-cycle dispensing rule

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The National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday called for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to collect additional data before implementing a rule that would shorten the medication dispensing cycle in long-term care facilities.

The NCPA, which formed a long-term care division last year, says CMS does not have adequate evidence to justify Affordable Care Act regulations on short-cycle dispensing. The regulation in dispute would change a 30-day dispensing cycle to weekly, daily or automated dose dispensing for Medicare Part D recipients in long-term care. The law currently would apply only to brand-name drugs, not generic equivalents.

“Pharmacies are going to have to invest significant time and resources,” Susan Janeczko, RPh and NCPA Director of Long-Term Regulatory and Policy Affairs, told reporters during a conference call. “What we are recommending to CMS is to get the information on the front end before they implement the program.” She said either a pilot program or comprehensive study is needed.

The short-cycle dispensing regulation is scheduled to go into effect January 1. The NCPA asked CMS last year to extend the implementation deadline until January 1, 2014.