Legislation for increased Medicaid reimbursement payments proposed; NCPA responds
ALEXANDRIA, Va. A letter from two members of Congress to the chairman and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee seeking an increase in Medicaid prescription drug reimbursements has drawn a response from an organization representing the country’s independent pharmacies.
Reps. Marion Berry, D-Ark., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., cochairs of the bipartisan Community Pharmacy Coalition, recently sent a letter to Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Joe Barton, R-Texas, seeking an increase in the proposed fix for Medicaid pharmacy prescription reimbursement in H.R. 3200, the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.
“Thanks to Congress and the federal courts, devastating cuts to Medicaid prescription pharmacy reimbursements have not yet gone into effect,” National Community Pharmacists Association CEO Bruce Roberts said in a response. “But the clock is ticking. If it strikes midnight, according to the Government Accountability Office, pharmacies dispensing generics will be paid by Medicaid, on average, 36% below the drug’s cost. The resulting fallout will force many pharmacies to either limit or completely drop out of Medicaid, or possibly go out of business.”
Roberts praised the letter from Berry and Moran.
“These congressmen understand the importance of maintaining access to the valuable services community pharmacies provide, especially in underserved rural and urban communities,” Roberts said. “Healthcare reform is not only about lowering costs, but also about improving outcomes.”
Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab to open 11 new sites
LAS VEGAS Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab, which operates a network of retail health clinics for over-the-road professional truck drivers, announced on Thursday that emergency room physician Royce Brough has received licenses for 11 sites throughout six states.
Brough, a practicing emergency room physician with more than 35 years of experience, will be opening a location in Oklahoma City, Okla., within the next 90 days followed by Dallas in the first quarter 2010. The remaining sites, to be located in California, New Mexico, New Jersey and Indiana, will be open “as quickly as possible.”
“Keeping with our mission to deliver convenient healthcare to professional drivers coast to coast we are pleased to be working with Dr. Royce Brough to grow a national network of velocity through franchising and licensing,” stated Bob Perry, president of Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab and vice chair of the American Transportation Association Safety Management Council’s Health & Wellness Working Group. “Dr. Brough is an accomplished physician and we are fortunate to have him on board with Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab.”
Brough is also founder of The Brough Group and Hospital Physicians of America.
Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab began offering franchising and licensing opportunities within a limited number of markets in February 2009. Since then the company has secured sites in Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois and Georgia.
Through an exclusive partnership with Pilot Travel Centers, the company provides cost-effective convenient care medical services including DOT physicals and compliance, wellness programs, sleep apnea studies and treatment and nutritional products for drivers. Pilot is the largest operator of truck stops in the United States with more than 300 locations in 41 states. Roadside Medical Clinic + Lab has planned for a total of 80 sites throughout the United States located exclusively at Pilot Travel Centers in order to meet the needs of the 4.2 million over-the-road professional drivers.
Bristol-Myers Squibb extends deadline for Medarex acquisition
NEW YORK Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb has extended its acquisition offer for a biotech company that uses a proprietary technology platform to develop treatments for chronic diseases, Bristol announced Thursday.
The New York-based pharmaceutical giant announced that its tender offer for Medarex would expire at midnight on Wednesday. It had originally been scheduled to expire Monday. Medarex develops monoclonal antibodies for cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases using its UltiMAb technology.
Bristol said that more than 11.5 million shares of Medarex had been tendered and that Medarex shareholders would receive $16 per share upon the closing of the deal.