Published Online: Saturday, September 1, 2007

Responding to concerns raised by independent pharmacists, congressional leaders are rallying behind a new legislative plan to short-circuit attempts by federal Medicaid officials to slash pharmacy reimbursement for prescriptions filled with generic drugs. The legislation, cosponsored by Reps Nancy Boyda (D, Kan) and Jo Ann Emerson (R, Mo), directs the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to readjust pharmacy reimbursement to accurately reflect pharmacy acquisition costs for generic pharmaceuticals. The bill also includes provisions designed to increase taxpayer and government savings by encouraging higher generic utilization.

At press time, a bipartisan coalition of more than 30 House members had endorsed the measure, known on Capitol Hill as the ?Saving Our Community Pharmacies Act of 2007.? This legislation ?prevents the calamity that will ensue if CMS? draconian reimbursement guidelines are fully realized in a few months,? said Bruce Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Community Pharmacists Association. ?We are working with Congress to quickly pass this critical bill to create an accurate benchmark for community pharmacy drug expenses.?

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