With President Obama’s signature, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 became law on December 23, 2016.
Urging implementation will require a significant advocacy push, similar to that which resulted in the authorization of the pilot in the new law.
The law includes the NACDS-supported “Pilot Program for Prescription Drug Acquisition Cost Parity in the TRICARE Pharmacy Benefits Program.” If implemented as intended, the pilot could provide military families and veterans with the choice of how they get their medications and will also lower program costs.
The law also includes no new copayment increases, which also is in the interest of pharmacy choice and access for beneficiaries. Copayment increases had been requested by the Administration and were included in the Senate’s version of the legislation, but were omitted from the final House-Senate negotiated bill.
When details of the final legislation were announced on December 2, 2016, NACDS said, “This is a great day for the TRICARE program and for the military families and veterans who rely on their local pharmacies.”
NACDS now is reaching out to the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget to urge implementation of the important pilot program. Urging implementation will require a significant advocacy push, similar to that which resulted in the authorization of the pilot in the new law.