Pharmacist group proposes compromise to CMS on conflict-of-interest concerns

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A consultant pharmacists' group has proposed a compromise on a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid recommendation that could have put independent pharmacists in nursing homes.


In October, CMS said relationships between nursing homes and pharmacy suppliers could “conflict with the best interests of nursing home residents,” recommending independent pharmacists. In response, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists has suggested that LTC pharmacies take steps such as:


*Separating contracts for pharmaceutical and consultant pharmacy services

*Accepting payment for consultant pharmacy services only at market-based rates

*Certifying that consultant pharmacists are empowered to make independent clinical recommendations for residents


Additionally, ASCP recommends requiring disclosure statements of pharmaceutical company financial relationships; establishing outcome measures to evaluate consultant pharmacists' performance; and allowing more time for the LTC industry to make the necessary adjustments during the rule's implementation phase.

"We strongly agree with CMS on the need to ensure consultant pharmacists' recommendations are free from bias, but we think it can be achieved in a more reasonable time frame and without putting patients at risk of harm," ASCP President Penny Shelton, PharmD, said in a statement.


Click here for the full text of CMS' proposal, and here for more on the ASCP's full comments.