Drug Chains Propose Steps to Cut Costs
With states across the country strainingunder the soaring cost of the Medicaidprescription drug program, representativesof chain drugstores have offeredgovernment officials a series of proposalsto lower the price tag for providingmedication to the underprivileged.
Calling drug chains "partners withthe government when it comes toMedicaid reform," National Associationof Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)representatives told program officialsin Washington that they couldimprove the quality of care and savemoney for the program by eliminatingconflicting state and federal requirementsgoverning the substitution ofcheaper generic equivalents.
The NACDS representatives also recommendedthat federal officials implementstep-therapy programs to enhancethe use of lower-cost drugs, require statepreferred drug lists and prior authorizationprocedures to cover all drug categories,and pressure states to make"more accurate and timely manufacturerrebate collections." The associationalso called on Medicaid officials toencourage the use of "retail pharmacy-basedmedication therapy managementand disease management programs."
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.