Drug Chains Propose Steps to Cut Costs

Ken Rankin
Published Online: Saturday, October 1, 2005

With states across the country straining under the soaring cost of the Medicaid prescription drug program, representatives of chain drugstores have offered government officials a series of proposals to lower the price tag for providing medication to the underprivileged.

Calling drug chains "partners with the government when it comes to Medicaid reform," National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) representatives told program officials in Washington that they could improve the quality of care and save money for the program by eliminating conflicting state and federal requirements governing the substitution of cheaper generic equivalents.

The NACDS representatives also recommended that federal officials implement step-therapy programs to enhance the use of lower-cost drugs, require state preferred drug lists and prior authorization procedures to cover all drug categories, and pressure states to make "more accurate and timely manufacturer rebate collections." The association also called on Medicaid officials to encourage the use of "retail pharmacy-based medication therapy management and disease management programs."

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.

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