Archive for December, 2009

GAO to Congress: Pharmacies Face Major Medicaid Cuts without Congressional AMP Fix

By John Coster

A new government study affirms that community pharmacies would, on average, be significantly underpaid for dispensing generic prescription drugs to Medicaid recipients under an existing Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) reimbursement formula that was created through the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act.  Continue reading ‘GAO to Congress: Pharmacies Face Major Medicaid Cuts without Congressional AMP Fix’

Medicaid AMP ‘Fix’ Moves Closer to Finish Line

By John Coster

In the wake of Senate passage of health care reform legislation on Christmas Eve morning, momentum on Capitol Hill is continuing to build for a Medicaid AMP “fix” that is fair to community pharmacies. The support is bipartisan and spans the political spectrum from liberal to conservative and from members of the Congressional Black Caucus to the Congressional Rural Caucus. Continue reading ‘Medicaid AMP ‘Fix’ Moves Closer to Finish Line’

The Senate’s Weekend Work on Health Care

By John Coster

As of Saturday night, it looked like the Senate was on track to pass its version of a health care reform bill right before Christmas. Saturday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) released the “manager’s amendment”, which made all the changes to the original combined Senate health care bill that he needed to make to be sure he had 60 Democratic votes to stop debate on the bill and move to final passage. Continue reading ‘The Senate’s Weekend Work on Health Care’

Pressing Phamacy Issues Covered In Opinion Pages

By John Norton

(NOTE: To read all NCPA opinion pieces go to the following link.)

As the health care reform efforts kicks into overdrive, NCPA recently had three opinion pieces published advocating for patients and community pharmacies on three major issues: mandatory mail order; durable medical equipment (DME) accreditation; and Medicaid’s Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) based cuts.

Continue reading ‘Pressing Phamacy Issues Covered In Opinion Pages’

Bending the Cost Curve through Pharmacy

By Devin Stone

A comprehensive new study offers a pair of critical lessons for medication therapy. First, community pharmacists are highly trained medication experts that can help patients optimize the value of their medications, while saving money. And, second, the tangible value of such interventions plummets when delivered by distant pharmacists outside of the patient’s local community.  Continue reading ‘Bending the Cost Curve through Pharmacy’

New Cases Illustrate CVS Caremark Driving Up Costs for Patients, Health Plans

By Kevin Schweers

Since the 2007 merger of pharmacy retail giant CVS and pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Caremark, community pharmacists have heard a drumbeat of complaints from patients accusing the combined company of deceptive practices, privacy violations and conduct resulting in higher health care costs. The problems led NCPA, the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices and the union-backed Change to Win coalition to seek a Federal Trade Commission investigation earlier this year. Continue reading ‘New Cases Illustrate CVS Caremark Driving Up Costs for Patients, Health Plans’

Independent Community Pharmacy Today

By Devin Stone

As the financial editor of the 2009 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, I was responsible for calculating the statistics used in the report.  So I was disappointed to read a blog posting on Drug Channels that exaggerated the owner discretionary income for independent community pharmacy, estimating the figure to be $300,000.   Continue reading ‘Independent Community Pharmacy Today’

New Ad Makes the Case for Medicaid AMP Fix in Health Reform

 By Kevin Schweers

Two years ago this week something significant and positive happened for Medicaid patients and their community pharmacists. This December, we’re working for more of the same.  Continue reading ‘New Ad Makes the Case for Medicaid AMP Fix in Health Reform’

Pharmacists Score Big in Gallup Poll – Again

By Kevin Schweers

 For more than 30 years Gallup has conducted an annual survey gauging Americans’ level of trust, or distrust, of various professions.  This week the 2009 results were announced and, if you’re a pharmacist, take a bow. 

Continue reading ‘Pharmacists Score Big in Gallup Poll – Again’

Ohio Pharmacies Face Severe Medicaid Cuts

By Kevin Schweers

Dispensing fees paid to Ohio pharmacies under the Medicaid program are currently among the lowest in the nation and well below the actual cost of dispensing. This fall the state filed a state plan amendment with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in an effort to further cut dispensing fees in 2010 – from $3.70 to $1.80.

Continue reading ‘Ohio Pharmacies Face Severe Medicaid Cuts’


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