CMS withdraws last provisions of the AMP rule

December 21, 2010

NACDS and NCPA on Tuesday withdrew their lawsuit against CMS over AMPs.

Last week the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) withdrew their lawsuit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) over average manufacturer prices (AMPs).

The 2 pharmacy organizations agreed to withdraw the suit after CMS withdrew the last provisions of the AMP rule that had been blocked by an injunction from NACDS and NCPA. “With the injunction in place since 2007, pharmacy has avoided crippling costs of $5.5 million per day. Not only are those cuts off the table … but patients will be able to access their prescription medications,” said a joint statement provided to Drug Topics by NCPA and NACDS.

CMS also agreed to stop applying federal upper limits (FULs) to all B-rated drugs after December 15 and to refrain from publishing AMPs calculated under the old AMP rule. “Under the old policy, CMS would have been reimbursing community pharmacies based on a flawed AMP methodology. In fact, the Government Accountability Office estimated that the formula would have reimbursed pharmacies roughly 30% below the pharmacies’ actual cost of acquiring the generic drugs,” said the joint statement.

In addition to the lawsuit, the 2 groups praised the provisions in the new Health Care Reform law that benefit pharmacists and their patients. “The law included provisions to reduce the AMP cuts and to advance medication therapy management, through which pharmacists can help patients take their medications correctly. The costs related to poor medication adherence have been estimated to reach $290 billion annually, or 13% of all healthcare expenditures,” the statement said.