Published Online: Monday, October 1, 2007

Pharmacy's battle to ward off disastrous cutbacks in Medicaid reimbursements for generic drugs has attracted a powerful new ally: the US Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, which represents more than 3 million businesses and ranks as the world's largest business federation, has thrown its support behind pharmacy-backed legislation to block the anti-generic plan by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

In letters to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D, Mont), Rep Nancy Boyda (D, Kan), and Rep Jo Ann Emerson (R, Mo), Chamber Executive Vice President R. Bruce Josten warned that "if affordable medications are not accessible to Medicaid beneficiaries, decreased wellness could lead to devastating cost increases for beneficiaries, the Medicaid program, and other payers."

Officials at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) called the Chamber's support for corrective legislation "a breakthrough moment that adds a major voice on a major issue." According to NACDS, the Chamber's statement makes it clear that "fixing the CMS Medicaid rule merits action now for the good of patients, for the good of health care, and for the good of community pharmacy."

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