The long-term-care pharmacy lobby says a proposed regulation that aims to reduce waste in Medicare would end up raising prices for the Part D prescription program.

The proposed rule would require pharmacies that dispense brand-name drugs to long-term-care facilities, such as nursing homes, to deliver them once a week instead of once a month. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that more frequent deliveries would save $712.5 million a year as Medicare reduces its bill for drugs that never end up being used.

Waste, federal regulators explain in their proposed regulation, may occur "when treatment with the Part D drug has been discontinued, the Part D enrollee has been discharged to the community, the Part D enrollee has been hospitalized, or the Part D enrollee has died, leaving unused dispensed drugs."

The Long Term Care Pharmacy Alliance (LTCPA) questions those savings in its comments on the proposed rule, which were due Tuesday.

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