Arlington, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) applauds the 21 U.S. Senators who sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, urging him to begin implementation of the TRICARE Acquisition Cost Parity Pilot Program for Retail Pharmacy. The pilot would help achieve several priorities currently being debated in Congress as it looks for solutions in healthcare delivery: increasing patient access, reducing costs and improving patient outcomes.

The letter outlines the multiple benefits of implementing the pilot, stating that it is a “sensible approach to reducing prescription drug costs in the TRICARE program.”

The letter explains that cost savings would occur by eliminating “the acquisition cost disparity among pharmacy service locations by giving the DoD [Department of Defense] the authority to require that brand medications dispensed in the retail setting be purchased at the much lower rate it currently pays for the same medications dispensed in mail or MTFs [military treatment facilities].”

“NACDS is grateful for Congress’s involvement in advancing this worthwhile and timely program. We thank Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) – both of whom serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee – for leading the effort on this letter, and we also thank all those who signed it,” said NACDS President & CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “This pilot comes at an essential moment in the healthcare discussion and has the potential to be truly beneficial for our military families and veterans, while also reducing costs for the Department of Defense.”

In May, NACDS thanked the 67 members of the House of Representatives who also signed a letter encouraging Secretary Mattis to implement the pilot.

The authority for the DoD to move forward with the pilot program was included in the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and demonstrating the case for DoD to move forward with the pilot stands among NACDS’ priorities.

More information about NACDS’ long-standing advocacy on TRICARE issues can be found via the “TRICARE” tag on