Sen. Wyden says small pharmacies are being squeezed

ASHLAND, Ore. — U.S. Senator Ron Wyden visited a drug store in Ashland this afternoon to address the rising costs of prescription drugs and a squeeze many pharmacies in the state are feeling.

Senator Wyden says insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers are using a DRI Fee, or ‘direct remuneration fees’, which charge small local pharmacies.

He says the fees are charged up to a year later and are increasing, forcing many rural pharmacies to close up shop.

Senator Wyden calls the fees anti-free enterprise.

He’s proposed new legislation that would stop insurance companies and PBM’s from charging pharmacies additional fees after the point of sale, as well as forcing a cap on the amount that can be charged.

“All of these pharmacy fees have got to be applied at the point of sale so owners like Chris here don’t get clobbered down the road, as insurance companies and PBM’s say they aren’t making enough money,” said Sen. Wyden.

Senator Wyden says the DRI fees have jumped 91,000 percent in the last couple of years.

He says he is also working on getting relief for small pharmacies to help them stay open.

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