Washington, D.C.  – In their ongoing commitment to protect TRICARE beneficiaries’ access to prescription medications, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) sent letters last week to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) urging them to protect TRICARE beneficiary access by refusing to further increase retail community pharmacist copayments.

NACDS and NCPA referenced last year’s Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s report, which highlighted the importance of beneficiary choice and access, and strongly recommended that Congress support policies that maintain those vital aspects of the military healthcare system.

The letter points out that copay increases place financial burdens on TRICARE beneficiaries and restrict patient access. In addition, the letter states, increased copays and restricted patient access “can have the unintended effect of reducing medication adherence, resulting in decreased health outcomes and more costly medical interventions, such as physician and emergency room visits, and hospitalizations.”

NACDS and NCPA have remained highly engaged in efforts to preserve pharmacy access and choice for TRICARE patients over the years, advocating against increased copays, which place a great burden on TRICARE beneficiaries—especially retirees and families of active duty military—and also severely limit their ability to receive medications and services from their neighborhood pharmacies.