CONGRESS MOVES FORWARD ON BILL TO PROTECT GENERICS
Responding to concerns raised by independent pharmacists,congressional leaders are rallying behind a new legislativeplan to short-circuit attempts by federal Medicaidofficials to slash pharmacy reimbursement for prescriptionsfilled with generic drugs. The legislation, cosponsored byReps Nancy Boyda (D, Kan) and Jo Ann Emerson (R, Mo),directs the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)to readjust pharmacy reimbursement to accurately reflectpharmacy acquisition costs for generic pharmaceuticals. Thebill also includes provisions designed to increase taxpayerand government savings by encouraging higher generic utilization.
At press time, a bipartisan coalition of more than 30House members had endorsed the measure, known onCapitol Hill as the ?Saving Our Community Pharmacies Act of2007.? This legislation ?prevents the calamity that will ensueif CMS? draconian reimbursement guidelines are fully realizedin a few months,? said Bruce Roberts, RPh, executivevice president and chief executive officer of the NationalCommunity Pharmacists Association. ?We are working withCongress to quickly pass this critical bill to create an accuratebenchmark for community pharmacy drug expenses.?