Navigation Links
Pharmacists Report Soaring Generic Drug Purchasing Prices Impacting Patients, Pharmacies
Date:12/9/2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pharmacy acquisition costs for scores of generic drugs have spiked by as much as 600%, 1,000% or more in 2013, a problem that is harming patient care and pharmacists, according to a survey of more than 1,000 community pharmacists conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100106/DC33253LOGO)

"Once generic drugs become available, lower costs typically follow and community pharmacists are leading the way to maximize the savings for patients and health plans from the proper use of generics," said B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "However, pharmacy acquisition costs for more and more generic drugs are rising in rapid, breathtaking fashion. This is having a negative impact on a number of patients, particularly Medicare beneficiaries. Meanwhile, reimbursement from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) is not keeping up, leaving pharmacists out in the cold and putting patient access to pharmacist care on unsustainable footing."

Patients paying more; some going without medicine

These situations often involve patients covered through Medicare and Medicaid, according to the survey. Pharmacists report patients declining their medication due to increased co-pays. The combination of higher co-pays and larger charges to drug plans are also pushing seniors into Medicare's dreaded coverage gap (or "donut hole") where they must pay far higher out-of-pocket costs.

Pharmacists put in untenable position; urge PBMs to swiftly update reimbursement rates

Seventy-seven percent of pharmacists reported 26 or more instances of a large upswing in a generic drug's acquisition price over the past six months. Nearly all (86 percent) said it took the PBM or other third-party payer between two and six months to update its reimbursement rate (but not retroactively). In addition, 84 percent of pharmacists said the acquisition price spike/lagging reimbursement trend is a "very significant" impact on their ability to remain in business to continue serving patients. In some instances, community pharmacies were faced with having to refrain from filling prescriptions that would have resulted in losses of $40, $60, $100 or more per prescription filled.

"In an era of instant communication, it is indefensible for PBMs to wait weeks or even months before updating their payment benchmarks in the wake these price spikes – without ever reimbursing pharmacies retroactively," Hoey added. "Pharmacists' appeals to PBMs to update payment rates are consistently denied or ignored. This situation is untenable for small business community pharmacies and we urge PBMs to update their reimbursements."

Pharmacists suggested in the survey requiring PBMs to update their reimbursement within a certain time frame to reflect current market conditions.

Generic drugs most commonly named

The generic drugs most frequently cited in the survey included Benazepril (high blood pressure); Clomipramine (antidepressant); Digoxin (control heart rate); Divalproex (to treat seizures and psychiatric conditions); Doxycycline (antibiotic); Budesonide (asthma); Haloperidol (psychotic disorders); Levothyroxine (hypothyroidism); Methylphenidate (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder);Morphine (pain); Nystatin/Triamcinolone (fungal skin infections); Pravastatin (high cholesterol; heart disease); and Tizanidine (muscle relaxant). The reasons behind their increasing costs are uncertain.

Are drug middlemen profiteering?

Medicare beneficiaries enter the donut hole when the accumulated costs of both their co-pays and the charges to their drug plan reach a certain threshold. So the combination of rising costs forcing more seniors into the donut hole and PBM reimbursement of community pharmacies at lower, outdated prices raises the possibility that PBMs are enhancing their profits by billing plans at high rates and paying pharmacists at inadequate ones.

"This trend raises a troubling fiscal question for employers, government agencies and other sponsors of health plans," Hoey concluded, citing a recent Fortune magazine article documenting inflated costs and other problems arising from the lack of transparency into drug benefit managers. "Are PBM middlemen taking advantage of these price spikes by reimbursing pharmacies low, charging health plans high and pocketing the difference?"

The findings of the NCPA survey are consistent with a recent wave of news stories in regional media outlets, including Vermont Public Radio and NBC2 in Southwest Florida.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.7 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com/.

 

 


'/>"/>
SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Attack on the Website of the American Pharmacists Association
2. Community Pharmacists Take on Medication Non-Adherence to Improve Patient Health
3. Cardinal Health Celebrates Community Pharmacists Commitment to Patient Care at Annual Trade Show for Independent Pharmacies
4. New Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board to Certify Specialty Pharmacists
5. URAC sets standards for community pharmacy, advances dialogue about pharmacists as medication experts
6. Cardinal Health Supports Future Pharmacists With Nearly $1 Million In Scholarships
7. Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency Marks One Year Anniversary of Fighting Abuses by Pharmacy Benefits Managers
8. Purdue Pharma L.P. and the National Community Pharmacists Association Join Forces to Help Prevent Internal Pharmacy Theft and Prescription Fraud
9. Free Webinar Helps Physicians and Pharmacists Learn How to ePrescribe Controlled Substances
10. National Community Pharmacists Association and Purdue Pharma Urge Americans to Safeguard Rx Medicines This Holiday Season
11. EPIC Pharmacies offers members discounted access to online continuing education course - Management & HR Skills for Pharmacists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/17/2017)... OilPrice.com Market Commentary:  A little-known biotech company ... the planned upcoming release of a breakthrough technology that ... test that is affordable and accessible to the average ... today include:  Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN ), ... Inc. (NASDAQ: CGIX ), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Pa. , Jan. 17, 2017  Maureen ... Inc.(AMI) announces the addition of 6 senior sales ... the TubeClear® System.  These sales leaders were formerly ... acquired medical device company. Repeatedly recognized for their ... exceeding customer expectations and establishing relationships with key ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Jan. 17, 2017  Tetra Discovery Partners today ... as Vice President, Clinical Operations. He joins ... Executive Director, Clinical Project Management. "Richard joins ... experience in global clinical research planning and execution, ... clinical operation build-outs and development partnerships," said ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Today, FloSports , a ... announced a new agreement as part of a long-term extension of their media partnership. ... the airing of some of the sport’s premier events exclusively on FloWrestling.com as well ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... California Southern University has named Dr. ... CalSouthern’s Board of Trustees and as a core faculty member, teaching master’s and doctoral ... professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, where he earned his Doctor of Psychology degree ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... January 16, 2017 , ... Anybody who may be looking ... a new video released by Serenity Recovery, a holistic treatment center for addiction located ... channel, features footage and testimonials from patients and staff that visited the 2016 Recovery ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Specialty Technical Publishers (STP) and Specialty Technical ... (IAPC) EHS audit protocol for Singapore . Leading companies around the world ... obligations and rapidly collect, share, archive, and export audit findings in a cost ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... January 16, 2017 ... ... a manuscript in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal , the official journal of ... he conducted on lower eyelid retraction surgery. The procedure is designed to correct ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):