2007: Are the odds for or against you?

December 11, 2006

Pharmacists hope a new Congress will roll back reimbursement cutbacks that were originally slated

With the Democrats taking over Congress in 2007, the business outlook for pharmacists is looking up-at least, that's what pharmacy leaders are hoping.

Community pharmacists are pinning their hopes on the 110th Congress to roll back reduced reimbursement for generic drugs under Medicaid. A big worry is the advent of average manufacturers price (AMP) to replace average wholesale price as the new basis for Medicaid reimbursement next month. At press time, final guidelines on AMP have not been issued yet.

Whether cutbacks in Medicaid payment can be stanched is unknown. What is known is that pharmacists will be facing these new challenges in 2007:

To gauge how pharmacists are preparing for 2007, Drug Topics conducted an on-line survey of independents, chain executives, and hospital pharmacists. Until this year, our annual business outlook survey had always been done as a written questionnaire mailed to readers. This year, however, we switched to an on-line format. Responses were received from 92 independents, 85 hospital R.Ph.s, and 18 chain executives. To boost responses on the chain side, individual executives were also contacted by phone.

Here's how pharmacists are handicapping 2007.