NCPA Commends Lawmakers for Raising Pharmacists' Concerns Over Medicaid Reimbursement



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Alexandria, Va. - Jan. 27, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today applauded twenty-five members of the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce Committees for sending a letter to federal officials that highlighted many of the concerns NCPA has expressed regarding insufficient, proposed federal upper limits (FULs) for Medicaid generic drug reimbursement.

In response to the lawmakers' letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement:

"Over the objections of NCPA and dozens of lawmakers, CMS continues to publish new lists of proposed caps on generic drug reimbursement that are calculated based on flawed average manufacturer price, or AMP, data from drugmakers. Unfortunately, the agency continues to put the cart before the horse and publish these lists even though it has not finalized the regulation governing how manufacturers should calculate their AMPs.

"Small business community pharmacies are the backbone of the Medicaid drug benefit. They provide cost-saving medication counseling, are often located in underserved rural and inner-city locations, and rely on prescriptions for over 90 percent of their revenue. That's why NCPA commends these Senators and Representatives for speaking up for patients and the community pharmacists who serve them.

"Inadequate reimbursement could threaten patient access to prescription drugs by forcing community pharmacies out of the Medicaid program. Ultimately, that would only raise health care costs as patients seek more expensive forms of medical care."

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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