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PCMA 2008 Agenda: Support E-Prescribing, Biogenerics; Oppose Bills that Increase Costs
Date:1/10/2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) today released its 2008 policy agenda that promotes pharmacy benefit management (PBM) tools that provide affordability and choice on prescription drugs for consumers and payors.

"We believe that competition and 21st century innovation are the keys to generating savings and access for prescription drugs," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. "Issues such as electronic prescribing and biogenerics will continue to gain bipartisan support. Meanwhile, issues which increase the cost of prescription drugs, such as collective bargaining and so-called 'prompt pay' bills, will be increasingly difficult for 'budget hawks' to support."

PCMA's 2008 Policy Agenda

Opposing Bills That Would Increase Prescription Drug Costs. In Medicare Part D, PCMA will continue to promote the utilization of proven PBM tools that have helped lower program costs 30 percent below initial government projections, generated more generic utilization than Medicaid, and provided greater choice of drugs and pharmacies than the Veterans' Administration program. PCMA will also continue to aggressively oppose bills that would increase prescription drug costs for consumers and payors. Some of these proposals include:

-- Mandating "Prompt Pay" of Medicare Claims. PCMA member companies currently pay claims within 30 days, a standard consistent with Medicare Parts A & B, the federal employees' health plan, and the private sector. Legislation that would make Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) pay drugstores twice as fast as Medicare pays other providers could cost the program and its beneficiaries at least $3.1 billion over the next decade. The independent drugstore lobby's own Medicare prescription drug plan pays in a 30-day cycle. Furthermore, many independent drugstores also hire Pharmacy Service Administrative Organizations (PSAOs), middlemen that serve as
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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