Because of the new Medicaid drugreimbursement cuts approved byCongress, community pharmacists participatingin the program will lose moneyon every generic prescription startingnext year, retail pharmacyleaders charged. Thelegislation, scheduledto take effect January 1,2007, reduces only theMedicaid reimbursementon generic drugs, while leaving moreexpensive brand name drugs untouched.
The National Community PharmacistsAssociation (NCPA) pledged to work withfederal Medicaid administrators andstate health officials to soften the impactof the generic payment cutbacks. "Thegovernors of each of the 50 states shouldbe searching in their wallets, becausethese costs are simply being passed onto them," the group said. "At a minimum,pharmacy dispensing fees will need to beincreased in the states just to ensurethat pharmacists will be able to continueto provide medicationsto patients in the Medicaidprogram."
Medicaid dispensingfees currently average$4.15 per prescription.This is already well below the actual$9.62 cost of dispensing a prescription,as confirmed by a 2005 study from theUniversity of Texas. "With Medicaid reimbursementsslashed, dispensing fees willneed to increase, or pharmacists will losemoney on most generic Medicaid prescriptionsand be unable to continueserving Medicaid patients," NCPA said.