NCPA Congratulates Arkansas on Strengthening Generic Drug Payment Legislation

Bipartisan generic drug reimbursement legislation was signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson on April 1, 2015.

PRESS RELEASE

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 2, 2015) — National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement regarding bipartisan generic drug reimbursement legislation (SB688, now Act 900 of 2015) signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson on April 1, 2015:

“Community pharmacists need reasonable reimbursement in order to continue to dispense medication, counsel patients and contribute to the local economy and society. Unfortunately, pharmacists have been being paid below their cost of purchasing many generic drugs in recent months, partially due to certain generic drugs that rapidly skyrocket in cost, coupled with long delays in Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) in adjusting maximum allowable cost (MAC), to adjust for the new marketplace pricing. In these instances, pharmacies incur significant and unsustainable losses simply for helping their patients.

"Approximately two years ago, Arkansas was one of the first states to enact legislation attempting to bring a degree of fairness to this business practice. Upon the enactment of SB688 Arkansas again became a national example for pharmacy by further defining a process for making MAC appeals and for setting in law, standards that PBMs must follow when making MAC adjustments.

“So we c

ongratulate the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APA) on their successful efforts to strengthen their existing law. We commend the State House, Senate and Governor Hutchinson for supporting this measure and protecting the small business owner health care providers of Arkansas and the patients they serve.

“This important legislation took necessary steps to ensure that PBMs were obeying the true intent of the existing MAC transparency law and took additional steps to ensure fair and reasonable reimbursement standards for community retail pharmacy in Arkansas. We hope that many other states will follow the example of Arkansas by enacting effective and enforceable generic drug reimbursement laws.”