Grassley-Wyden bill would address DIR fees, lower patient costs at the counter

Washington, D.C. 
- A coalition of national pharmacy groups today applauded the latest version of the bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, released Friday by the Senate Finance Committee, which they say addresses backdoor clawback fees charged by large pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that are shuttering pharmacies and costing patients more at the pharmacy counter. 

“This legislation represents a potentially major reform that would generate savings and create pricing transparency for pharmacy patients,” said the group. “It would put a stop to the predatory practice of imposing fees on pharmacies long after the point of sale and charging patients more up front for their drugs.” 

The coalition represents: The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA); National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS); American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP); National Association of Specialty Pharmacists (NASP); Food Marketing Institute (FMI); National Grocers Association (NGA); American Pharmacists Association (APhA); and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA).  

The updated draft legislation (S. 2543) released late Friday will require all pharmacy price concessions and DIR fees to be included in the negotiated price at point of sale for Medicare Part D starting Jan. 1, 2022. It would prohibit plans and PBMs from retroactive recoupment. Additionally, the bill would move up the implementation of standardized pharmacy quality measures to 2022. 

A previous version of the bill did not address DIR clawbacks, a shortcoming that pharmacy groups warned would be a missed opportunity.

“The current system is unsustainable for patients and pharmacies, and we are grateful to Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Wyden for listening to our members’ concerns. We look forward to working with the Committee and Senate leaders to pass the legislation.”

Information about the participating organizations is available via their websites: