New Mexico Governor Signs Pro-Patient, Pro-Pharmacist Legislation into Law
Alexandria, Va. Mar. 6, 2014 - New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) has signed into law H.B. 126, legislation that will help preserve patient access to prescription drugs and better protect New Mexico's small business community pharmacies from being reimbursed at a financial loss. In response, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement:
"Thanks to the signature of Governor Susana Martinez on H.B 126, New Mexico patients and the state's 92 independent community pharmacies will be better off. Pharmacy acquisition costs for scores of generic drugs are skyrocketing by as much as 600%, 1,000% or more, but the entities that administer drug plans—pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)—continue to reimburse community pharmacies at outdated, lower prices. Pharmacists report repeatedly being faced with losses of $40, $60, $100 or more per prescription as the PBM waits several months before updating its reimbursement rates—and never retroactively.
"This situation is untenable for pharmacies and could limit patient access to these medications as no pharmacy can consistently dispense medications at a loss. When one considers that approximately 80 percent of dispensed prescriptions are generic, the impact of this trend is significant.
"The legislation will alleviate this problem by requiring PBMs to update their reimbursement to pharmacies for generic drugs within seven days to keep pace with market price spikes. It also gives the state's community pharmacy owners more predictability to operate their small businesses by affording them access to basic information about PBM reimbursement methodology before the pharmacy enters into a contract with a PBM.
"New Mexico has become the sixth state to enact legislation addressing these issues. This victory would not have been achieved without the organizing efforts of the New Mexico Pharmacists Association, the voices of New Mexico's independent community pharmacies, and leadership of the bill's original sponsor, State Representative Nora Espinoza (R-Roswell)."