A group of senators drew praise from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) for their efforts in questioning draft federal upper limit (FUL) lists for Medicaid generic drug reimbursement recently published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


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NACDS, NCPA hail senators' action on FULs

January 10th, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A group of senators drew praise from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) for their efforts in questioning draft federal upper limit (FUL) lists for Medicaid generic drug reimbursement recently published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

NACDS and NCPA on Tuesday hailed Sens. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) and Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) and 12 of their colleagues for their letter this week to CMS that expressed serious concerns with the draft FUL lists.

"In publishing three draft lists of Medicaid drug FULs, CMS has provided states with a potential unofficial standard for setting state maximum allowable costs (MACs). Specifically, pharmacists believe that if states were to implement MACs based on the CMS' draft FUL lists, pharmacies could see reduced reimbursement for selected generic drugs in the range of 30% to 60% of acquisition costs," the senators stated in the letter.

"Cuts of this magnitude could create a disincentive to dispense generic drugs, which is exactly the opposite of what we should be trying to achieve as we seek to control health care costs," the lawmakers noted.

Also signing the letter to CMS were Sens. Daniel Akaka (D., Alaska), Michael Bennet (D., Colo.), Roy Blunt (R, Mo.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Thad Cochran (R., Miss.), John Hoeven (R., N.D.), Tim Johnson (D., S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), Pat Leahy (D., Vt.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Jon Tester (D., Mont.) and Roger Wicker (R., Miss).

NACDS and NCPA have previously expressed concern with the draft FUL lists in written comments to CMS.

"We are pleased that our arguments have been given further credibility by a large, bipartisan group of senators," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson and NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said in a statement Tuesday. "We want to especially thank Sens. Conrad and Snowe for their leadership on this important issue."

The two pharmacy groups noted that the senators also called on CMS to take heed of comprehensive pharmacy reimbursement. "When setting pharmacy reimbursement rates, it is important that both components of reimbursement — product cost and cost to dispense — be taken into consideration to ensure pharmacies are adequately paid," the senators wrote.

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