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PCMA: Eight Ways to Reduce Federal Health Spending and Improve Prescription Drug Benefits in Medicare and Medicaid
Date:10/23/2013

Washington D.C. (PRWEB) October 23, 2013

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) is offering Congress a list of policy proposals to reduce $100 billion in federal prescription drug spending and improve safety in Medicare and Medicaid.

“These policies are bipartisan, common-sense solutions that have improved pharmacy benefits in the commercial market and could reduce wasteful spending in Medicare and Medicaid,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

The following policies would significantly reduce costs for the federal government and improve benefits for patients:

  •     Modernize Medicaid Pharmacy. Over the next decade, the federal government could save $43 billion—without cutting benefits or access—by upgrading management of Medicaid pharmacy benefits. Proven savings tools —including negotiating competitive pharmacy dispensing fees, encouraging the use of generics and preferred brands, reducing waste, and implementing pharmacy networks — have long been used by many private-sector employers, union plans, Medicare Part D, and Medicaid managed care plans, but are still under-utilized by most state Medicaid programs.
  •     Create ‘Safe Pharmacies’ in Part D for Controlled Prescription Drugs. Medicare Part D should allow plans to designate “safe pharmacies” that dispense controlled substances to beneficiaries at high-risk for abuse. This maintains beneficiary access to needed medications, but prevents “drugstore shopping.” These programs have saved millions of dollars in state Medicaid programs and the private sector by reducing inappropriate dispensing of controlled substances and increasing patient safety.
  •     Greater Use of Preferred and Limited Pharmacy Networks in Medicare. Today, there are more drugstores in the U.S. than McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Pizza Huts, Wendy’s,
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