CMS changes rule to combat mail-order waste

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Effective Jan. 1, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans must obtain consent from beneficiaries or their caregivers before filling or refilling prescriptions, according to a Dec. 17 bulletin from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). Pharmacists have told CMS that patients are turning in large quantities of unused and expired medication, usually obtained through automated refill services. “We commend Medicare officials for acknowledging mail-order waste and for responding to the concerns of patients and community pharmacists by implementing this new policy,” said NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey in a statement. Medicare recently found it costs as much as 83% more to fill prescriptions through mail-order pharmacies than through community pharmacies.