HEALTH

NCPA to CMS: Medicaid reimbursements should adhere to healthcare-reform law provisions

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to follow guidance that Congress included in the healthcare-reform law in its implementation of a new Medicaid generic drug reimbursement formula based on average manufacturer price, the organization said Tuesday.

CMS recently withdrew provisions that would have dramatically cut Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement to community pharmacies from a previously proposed AMP rule due to an injunction that the NCPA obtained in 2007.

 

In a letter to Congress, the NCPA recommended giving manufacturers more direction in calculating their AMPs, such as requiring them to only include prices paid by wholesalers for drugs subsequently sold at pharmacies; recognizing the ill effect that the NCPA said curtailed generic drug reimbursements would have on retail pharmacies; and setting up a process by which revised federal upper limits resulting from the revised AMP data will be implemented in order to minimize disruption for patients and pharmacies.

 

 

“In many ways, independent community pharmacies are the backbone of Medicaid’s prescription drug benefit,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Pharmacies will become an even more important source of health care-related services for Medicaid beneficiaries as new healthcare reform provisions are implemented.”

 

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NACDS issues statement on CMS’ withdrawal of AMP provisions

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday after the agency proposed a rule that would withdraw two provisions related to pharmacy Medicaid reimbursement.

In a letter to CMS, NACDS said that it believed the average manufacturer price final rule was "fundamentally flawed, and implemented the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 in a manner that was inconsistent with congressional intent," the letter stated. "Rather than continuing efforts to implement the flawed AMP final rule, we applaud the agency for moving forward with withdrawing the provisions of the AMP final rule, as well as the multiple-source drug rule."

Federal law defines AMP as “with respect to a covered outpatient drug of a manufacturer for a rebate period, the average price paid to the manufacturer for the drug in the United States by wholesalers for drugs distributed to retail community pharmacies and retail community pharmacies that purchase drugs directly from the manufacturer.” The current AMP policy almost could cause retail pharmacies to lose money on nearly every Medicaid generic prescription they dispense.

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PSE sales tracking system nabs meth ring

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS Arkansas state police apprehended and arrested a methamphetamine ring, which had been attempting to acquire large quantities of the precursor ingredient pseudoephedrine at retail pharmacy. The police were tipped off thanks to information provided by LeadsOnLabs, an online system that helps track the illegal sale of PSE, the company announced Monday.

“Breaking up this meth ring was a big step in the fight against meth in the state of Arkansas,” stated Investigator Chris Anderson of the Arkansas state police. In this particular case, some of the individuals already had reached their legal monthly sales limit and were attempting to purchase more pills. The LeadsOnLabs system blocked a total of 43 transactions of the 235 that were attempted by this group.  Because LeadsOnLabs is an online logbook and provides real-time alerts, pharmacies across the state were made aware of this group and immediately were able to deny the sale of additional pills to these individuals.

“We commend the mighty efforts of the Arkansas state police, as well as various local law enforcement agencies, and the work they do to combat meth abuse in their state,” stated Dave Finley, president and CEO of LeadsOnLabs. “We are proud to be able to help them identify individuals and groups of meth makers. Through our partnership we hope to help them win the war against methamphetamines in the state of Arkansas.”

Arkansas instituted the LeadsOnLabs system statewide in an attempt to eradicate meth abuse in the state in 2008, under the direction of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The system has been credited with helping law enforcement bust meth labs and track down meth abusers across the state.

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