AmerisourceBergen Welcomes Confirmation of Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services

Feb 16, 2017
Last week, the United States Senate confirmed Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Prior to his confirmation as Secretary, Dr. Price spent the past 12 years representing Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in the House of Representatives and as Chairman of the House Budget Committee.  An orthopedic surgeon by trade, Dr. Price was looked on by his fellow Members of Congress as a leader on all things health care, including approaches to health care delivery.  As Secretary, Dr. Price will oversee the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) among many other agencies and offices.
As Dr. Price takes the reins of HHS, he will confront a host of key health care policy issues.  First and foremost, he will be tasked with looking for ways to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – a shared priority of President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress.  He will also be tasked with issues surrounding medical innovation, the cost of prescription drugs, fair and appropriate provider reimbursement, and Medicaid reform. 
With respect to community pharmacy concerns, Secretary Price has signaled his intent to work with Congress on issues surrounding increasing patient access to care through pharmacist provider status legislation. During his confirmation hearing, in response to a question from Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on DIR fees, Dr. Price committed to work to finalize the outstanding CMS guidance on increasing transparency for DIR fees.  Asked about his priorities for replacing the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Price stated: “It’s imperative we have a system that’s accessible for every single American, that’s affordable for every single American, that incentivizes and provides the highest quality health care that the world knows, and provides choices to patients so they are the ones selecting who is treating them, when [and] where...”
Other key pharmacy issues that Secretary Price will oversee will be the ongoing implementation of the Covered Outpatient Drug Final Rule for Medicaid, which aims to ensure fair and appropriate reimbursement for pharmacy.
Alongside our pharmacy partners, AmerisourceBergen looks forward to working with Secretary Price to advance meaningful proposals that ensure patient access to community pharmacy.