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Carter on CMS action to reduce prescription drug costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a rule change Thursday that would rein in pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees (DIR).

Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), a pharmacist by training, has long advocated for an end to predatory DIR fees and is encouraged by this action from CMS.

“DIR fees are 107,400% higher today than they were in 2010. That is absolutely insane and should never have been allowed to occur. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are taking advantage of sick Americans to rake in higher profits. Nowhere in America should a patient have to choose between life-saving medication and putting food on the table, yet that is the choice PBMs are forcing on them,” said Carter.

This rule change, which will go into effect in 2023, updates the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs to reduce out of pocket costs, increase competition, and make pricing more transparent.

“I am encouraged that CMS is taking action on this important issue. The rule’s effectiveness remains to be seen and more must be done to protect consumers from harmful PBM practices. I hope this is the first of many steps to put patients before PBM’s profits,” said Carter.

Read the full CMS proposed rule here.