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NACDS: Court Ruling on AWPs Shifts "Urgency for Action" to States

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE issued the following statement today following the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruling on September 3, 2009, upholding the reduction of average wholesale prices (AWP)

Alexandria, Va. - National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE issued the following statement today following the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruling on September 3, 2009, upholding the reduction of average wholesale prices (AWP):

"For three years, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and allied organizations have been successful through legal action in preventing reductions to published average wholesale prices (AWP) for prescription drugs. This has prevented subsequent reductions in reimbursement to pharmacies for the patient care they provide, and thus has been a three-year campaign that was worth waging on behalf of pharmacies and the patients they serve.

"We have maintained, and continue to maintain, that pharmacies and patient care should not be harmed by legal proceedings in which pharmacies were not originally involved. That is what occurred when First DataBank and Medi-Span reached a settlement related to the publishing of reduced AWPs.

"The appellate court's ruling yesterday that now allows the reduction of AWPs does not signify the end of the campaign, but rather shifts the urgency for action to other arenas. The fact remains that reduction of AWPs threatens to cut pharmacy reimbursement for drugs below their costs - an untenable position for any healthcare provider and for any business. Fortunately, some private payers are taking steps to remedy this situation by making appropriate reimbursement adjustments. Likewise, we renew our call today to state Medicaid programs to take the only viable course for patient care and to address the flawed reimbursement that the reduced AWPs will create. For the good of beneficiaries, pharmacy looks forward to working with public payers to address this fragile situation."    

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents 154 traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies - from regional chains with four stores to national companies. NACDS members also include more than 900 pharmacy and front-end suppliers, and over 70 international members from 24 countries. Chains operate 37,000 pharmacies, and employ more than 2.5 million employees, including 118,000 full-time pharmacists. They fill more than 2.5 billion prescriptions annually, which is more than 72 percent of annual prescriptions in the United States. The total economic impact of all retail stores with pharmacies transcends their $815 billion in annual sales. Every $1 spent in these stores creates a ripple effect of $3.82 in other industries, for a total economic impact of $3.11 trillion, equal to 26 percent of GDP. For more information about NACDS, visit

Contact: Chrissy Kopple, NACDS
(703) 837-4266


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