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NCPA Statement on Senate Medicare Vote
Date:6/12/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Senate voted 54 to 39 in favor of S. 3101, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. However, that did not achieve the 60 votes needed for cloture. The bill includes pharmacy-related provisions that provide prompt payment of Medicare Part D prescription drug claims and delay the implementation of Medicaid reimbursement cuts for generic prescription drugs. In response Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), issued the following statement:

"While S.3101, the health care bill championed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and a majority of the U.S. Senate, did not achieve cloture today, America's 23,000 community pharmacies remain committed to ensuring patients have access to prescription drug services. That outcome can only be achieved by including provisions to speed up the painfully slow payment of Medicare Part D claims and delay utilizing a formula designed to drastically cut reimbursements for Medicaid generic prescription drugs."

"Today's vote is just the first step in a process that needs to culminate with a health care package which Congress must pass by July 1. We urge Congress, as it takes the next step, to make sure the pharmacy provisions are included. It is our members' intention to continue weighing in on this critical debate that will literally determine the fate of patients' access to community pharmacies."

The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to http://www.ncpanet.org.


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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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