PharMerica responds to CMS proposed rule on consultant pharmacists

PharMerica Corp., last Friday responded to a request for comments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning its consideration of changes to the Conditions of Participation for Long Term Care Facilities, published in a proposed rule earlier this month.

“PharMerica believes that the changes proposed by CMS, which could require the independence of consultant pharmacists, may increase overall costs for payors and customers and reduce the quality of care and service to long-term care patients and residents,” the PharMerica statement read.

The proposed rules would change the Conditions of Participation for Long Term Care Facilities by requiring nursing homes to hire independent pharmacists to review resident drug regimens instead of the services offered by companies such as PharMerica.

Echoing a similar statement released last week by Omnicare, Inc., PharMerica’s biggest competitor, PharMerica stated that its consultant pharmacists balance clinical effectiveness and economic considerations to achieve the best drug or therapy option for residents, evaluate for potential drug interactions or known side effects and provide reviews of formulary compliance.

“PharMerica's consultant pharmacists play an important role in ensuring safe and cost-effective outcomes for patients,” PharMerica CEO Gregory S. Weishar said in the statement. “We are concerned that the changes proposed by CMS could adversely affect customers, payors and, ultimately, residents, resulting in a decrease of much-needed benefits and higher costs.”

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