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Kentucky Pharmacists Urge Senator McConnell to Put Patients First
Date:12/6/2007

Pharmacists Ask McConnell to Fix Flaws in Medicaid Generic Prescription Drug System

FRANKFORT, Ky., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Kentucky community pharmacy owners held a press conference at Capital Pharmacy and Medical Equipment urging U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to help ensure S.1951, the Fair Medicaid Drug Payment Act of 2007, is brought to the Senate floor for a vote before they adjourn this year. The bill fixes the Medicaid generic prescription drug pharmacy reimbursement cuts scheduled to take effect early next year that threaten the economic viability of community pharmacy, as well as patient access to pharmacy services.

"Community pharmacy owners like myself are being put in a terrible bind because of the coming cuts to Medicaid reimbursement," said Mac Bray, owner of Capital Pharmacy and Medical Equipment. "My options will be to either turn my back on my Medicaid patients by limiting or dropping my services, or suffer huge financial losses by continuing to participate in the Medicaid program. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell can spare myself and other pharmacists from making that Hobson's Choice by pushing for the Senate to pass S.1951 before they go home for the Holidays."

In 2005, the Deficit Reduction Act cut Medicaid pharmacy services by over $8 billion, causing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to create new rules for Medicaid generic drug reimbursement based on an Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) formula. A December 2006 Government Accountability Office report found that, on average, pharmacies would be paid 36 percent below their acquisition costs using this new formula, therefore forcing patients without access to community pharmacies to seek services from expensive emergency rooms and doctors' offices.

S.1951 seeks to rectify the pricing discrepancies and preserve the beneficial relationship between community pharmacists and patients by:

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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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