MEDICAID CUTS WOULD CHILL GENERIC DISPENSING

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Instead of encouraging community pharmacists to help controlhealth costs by dispensing lower-priced generic drugs, theBush Administration's new reimbursement plan for Medicaidpharmacies will do just the opposite, representatives of thenation's retail pharmacists warned. The proposed rule, issuedby the Department of Health and Human Services at the end of2006, attempts to implement provisions of last year's DeficitReduction Act by placing new limits on payments to stateMedicaid agencies for generic medications.

At the same time, however, reimbursement for higher-costbrand name drugs will be unaffected by the proposal, a situationthat eliminates any incentive to encourage lower-cost generics,the National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) said.

"Under this plan, pharmacists would be losing an average of$3 to $4 for every generic prescription dispensed," BruceRoberts, RPh, NCPA executive vice president and chief executiveofficer, said. "We are very disappointed that the presidentwould force such an anti-small business measure on pharmacists." He noted that more than half of all prescriptions dispensedby retail pharmacies are for generic medications.

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