ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) expresses disappointment over a final drug pricing rule released last night that fails to reform pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees. FMI Director, Food and Health Policy, Peter Matz issued the following statement on behalf of the food retail industry:

“The Administration missed the mark and an opportunity to effectively lower beneficiary out-of-pocket costs, while also stabilizing the operating environment for retail pharmacies. Specifically, DIR fees are being used strategically by pharmacy benefit managers to recoup funds from pharmacies retroactively, often weeks or even months after prescriptions were filled. According to the proposed rule itself, these fees have increased 45,000% in recent years. And, in an industry that operates on razor-thin profit margins, supermarket pharmacies have virtually no ability to absorb these unexpected costs. FMI will be looking at all options, including congressional action, to address the anti-competitive practices that are driving up drug prices and threatening both supermarket pharmacies and the customers they serve.”