Published Online: Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The pending new federal rules requiring that tamperproof pads be used for all Medicaid prescriptions will leave the nation?s pharmacists ill-prepared to provide needed medication to millions of Americans, warned chain drug industry leaders.

The controversial requirement, which was enacted as part of the US Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007, is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2007.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), however, warned federal officials that "prescribers and pharmacists cannot be ready for such a drastic change by the requirement?s commencement," and that drug stores will be left in the "untenable position of not being able to fill the prescriptions" of Medicaid beneficiaries.

"Implementation problems and issues range from whether a  sufficient number of pads will be available to the tens of thousands of prescribers that write hundreds of millions of prescriptions for Medicaid beneficiaries each year, where and how prescribers will obtain the pads, the specific requirements for the pads, who will pay for the cost of the pads, the potential for delays for Medicaid recipients receiving prescription medications, to the action that the pharmacists should take if the prescription is not written on tamper-proof paper," said the NACDS.

Before implementing any such requirements, the chain drug group urged Medicaid officials to first develop a consistent definition of "tamperproof," and to allow time for state legislatures across the country to enact enabling legislation.

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