TAMPER-RESISTANT Rx REQUIREMENT GETS REPRIEVE
Responding to concerns raised bypharmacists from across the country,President Bush signed legislation delayinga troublesome federal mandate forthe use of tamper-resistant prescriptionpads for Medicaid Rxs.
The requirement, which was sandwichedinto a spending bill for the Iraqwar earlier this year, had been set to takeeffect nationwide on October 1. Thereprieve approved by lawmakers at the11th hour postpones implementation ofthe mandate until April 1, 2008.
Although federal officials predict thatthe tamper-resistant Rx requirement willreduce Medicaid prescription fraud by>$300 million, chain drugstore-industryofficials were fearful that the new ruleswould create chaos at pharmacy countersin many areas. A survey of physiciansby the National Association of Chain DrugStores (NACDS) found that many prescriberswere unaware of the newrequirements. The association warnedthat correcting millions of improperlywritten prescriptions would be costly forpharmacies, physicians, and patients.
"NACDS supports efforts to curb fraudand abuse; however, 4 months is notenough time for physicians across thecountry to comply with such a widespreadchange," said officials at the chaindrug group following the passage of theoriginal legislation last May.