Chains Show Support for Generic Dispensing Incentives

SEPTEMBER 01, 2005
Ken Rankin

While state and federal health officials struggle to hold down soaring Medicaid drug spending, community pharmacy leaders are urging Congress to explore cost-cutting techniques that promote more rational prescription drug use.

In testimony before the House Health Subcommittee, National Association of Chain Drug Stores President Craig Fuller said that government cost-containment efforts should "reward behaviors that advance sound policy objectives." Specifically, Fuller called on federal and state Medicaid officials to adopt payment policies "that provide support to pharmacies that dispense generic drugs whenever possible" —an approach that he said would result in "ultimately saving Medicaid billions of dollars."

Fuller also recommended the use of tiered copayments as an effective tool for increasing generic drug utilization. "By encouraging increased generic use, pharmacies can save Medicaid between $45 and $100 on each prescription," Fuller told Congress.

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.