OKLAHOMA PHARMACISTS WILL FACE HIGHER GENERICS COSTS
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) board of directorsapproved a higher charge per prescription for pharmacists in theirstate. The new formula for determining the raised prices is based onthe cost of dispensing multisource generic drugs. The cost, whichwas last adjusted in December 2004 to $8.30 per prescription, isexpected to go as high as $9 this month, when the provisions of theDeficit Reduction Act of 2005 go into effect. The goal of the directivefrom Congress is to remedy the difference in the costs of ingredientsin the generic drugs, compared with their brand-name counterparts.
According to Nancy Nesser, DPh, JD, pharmacy director for theOHCA, the approved increase should not alter the cost of the drugs topatients, and it is expected to reduce overall costs to the state by 25%.She said, however, that pharmacists were expected to encouragemore purchases of brand name drugs, which could lead to highercosts for the state and patients alike.The changes were not scheduledto go into effect any earlier than January 2007 and could take as longas 7 months; the new formula laid out in the legislation is not beingrequired by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services until July.