HHS Sec. Azar visits community pharmacists

HHS Secretary Alex Azar visited this week Chateau Drugs and Gifts in Metairie, LA. The trip, made to help highlight the Trump administration's efforts to reduce prescription drug costs, was Azar's second official visit to a community pharmacy in recent months.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar visited this week Chateau Drugs and Gifts in Metairie, LA. The trip, made to help highlight the Trump administration's efforts to reduce prescription drug costs, was Azar's second official visit to a community pharmacy in recent months. Topics discussed during the visit included the 2018 laws to ban "gag clauses," the recently proposed policies to end retroactive pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees, and the proposal to exclude from the discount safe harbor the rebates paid by manufacturers to plan sponsors under Medicare Part D and Medicaid managed care organizations. "As it is, there are such challenges with PBMs and reimbursement that I as a community pharmacy owner often make more on votive candles than on some prescriptions," said Chateau pharmacy's Diane Milano, a registered pharmacist. "We are so grateful that the administration is working hard to change this system for small business pharmacy owners and for the patients we are dedicated to serving." B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, thanked "Secretary Azar for continuing to visit community pharmacies and providing opportunities for America's most accessible health care providers to offer their perspectives on how they can serve their patients and help bring down costs."