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NCPA: Texas legislation supports community pharmacies
June 18th, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Texas Gov. Rick Perry was hailed by the National Community Pharmacists Association for signing into law two key bills in support of community pharmacies in the state.
NCPA said Monday that Perry approved HB 1358, legislation that provides commonsense standards to pharmacy audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and SB 1106, which provides transparency in generic drug maximum allowable costs (MACs) for Medicaid plans.
The association noted that Texas became the 25th state to enact legislation to focus pharmacy audits on uncovering fraud and the fourth state to enact MAC transparency.
According to NCPA, PBMs abuse the audit process by recouping payments over technical issues that have no bearing on whether the proper patient received the proper medication as prescribed by a doctor, for the correct cost, while pharmacies "are presented take it or leave it contracts with vague language" on generic drug reimbursements.
"NCPA is extremely grateful for all of the hard work of everyone who brought this legislation to fruition, especially Michael Wright, executive director of the Texas Pharmacy Business Council (TPBC) for his stellar leadership," B. Douglas Hoey, chief executive officer of NCPA, said in a statement. "With Gov. Perry's signature, half of all states have recognized the challenges independent pharmacies face with PBM audits and the need for statutory standards.
"Additionally, Texas becomes the fourth state to ensure independent pharmacies receive some predictability in how they will be reimbursed for generic medications," he stated. "For independent pharmacies this of great importance, since 80% of the medications they dispense are generics."
Hoey noted that Texas has more than 1,500 small-business independent pharmacies, which provide local jobs and add to their communities' tax bases. "This legislation ensures these revenues remain in the community and are not siphoned off by large out-of-state entities," he added.
Wright commented, "Thanks to the hard work of our pharmacists here in Texas, fair audit reform and MAC transparency have been enacted. This legislation allows our pharmacists to focus more attention on patient health and obtaining positive outcomes on their behalf rather than justifying minor clerical errors to the PBMs. This also provides a modicum of transparency in how pharmacies will be reimbursed for dispensing lower-cost generic medications. We are thankful to the legislature and to Gov. Perry for recognizing the necessity of these measures and enacting these commonsense reforms for small-business independent pharmacies that many of our fellow Texans rely on for their health care needs."