This week Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), along with nine other Senators, sent a bipartisan letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma urging them to use existing authorities under the Social Security Act to improve transparency related to the use of direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees.

The letter urges HHS and CMS to issue guidance on the use of DIR and similar fees by Part D plan sponsors (PDP), which would improve transparency between PDP and pharmacies and benefit the Medicare program and its beneficiaries.

NACDS strongly supports the letter, which underscores concerns expressed in a letter from 28 members of the House of Representatives in June to Secretary Price calling for greater transparency and clarity in the use of DIR fees. In addition, NACDS recently submitted comments to CMS regarding the agency’s proposed guidance on how Part D plan sponsors report direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees.

NACDS RxIMPACT added to the advocacy effort on this week’s Senate letter by mobilizing NACDS member advocates to garner additional Senate signatures for the letter. The advocates sent nearly 200 executive communications to 98 Senators asking for their support on the letter.