PRESIDENT'S 2009 HEALTH BUDGET DRAWS IRE

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Members of Congress and others arelining up in opposition to the Bush administration'sbudget proposals for fiscal year2009. The budget includes >$200 billion incuts to Medicare and Medicaid programs.Critics also worry that the funding proposalswill not address escalating concernsraised by scientists and others overthe FDA's capacity to meet ever-growingdemands on its services and low moraleat the agency.

The budget again seeks to limit thereimbursement pharmacies receive forMedicaid prescriptions, proposing areduction from 250% to 150% of theAverage Manufacturers Price (AMP). TheGovernment Accountability Office hasalready calculated that a federal upperlimit set at a maximum of 250% of AMPwill lead to reimbursements to pharmaciesfalling 36% below acquisition costs,according to the National CommunityPharmacists Association (NCPA).

NCPA Executive Vice President andChief Executive Officer Bruce Roberts,RPh, stated, "President Bush's efforts torein in government spending place a dangeroustarget on health care," he said.

The administration is recommendingan FDA budget increase of $130 million,but the sum is "inadequate to tackle theproblems of the agency," according toRep John Dingell (D, MI), chairman of theHouse Energy and Commerce Committee.

Subcommittee on Oversight ChairmanRep Bart Stupak (D, MI) recently calledfor FDA commissioner Andrew vonEschenbach to resign.