NC PHARMACISTS WARN OF GENERIC MEDICAID MELTDOWN

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Imminent federal cutbacks in pharmacyreimbursement for generic drugsunder the Medicaid program haveplaced the ?neighborhood pharmacistunder assault,? and many ?may beforced to drop Medicaid or closestores? as a result, officials at the North Carolina?basedAssociation of Community Pharmacists CongressionalNetwork (ACP*CN) warned.

?This ill-conceived rule issued by the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services [CMS] leaves pharmacies in the darkabout how underreimbursed they will be for genericMedicaid drugs,? said Mike James, the group?s vice presidentfor governmental affairs. According to ACP*CN, the problemis that the new definition of the Average Manufacturers Price(AMP) used by CMS to determine payments for generic drugsunfairly assumes that retail pharmacies both big and smallget the same discounts as these bigger purchasers.

?It is unfair for CMS to use these discounts on drugsreceived by other purchasers to establish AMP when independentsdon?t have access to the same price,? the officialmaintained.

The worst fears of pharmacists in North Carolina and elsewherewere confirmed by a June 2007 report from the Officeof Inspector General at the Department of Health and HumanServices.