NACDS continues to follow healthcare measures

July 20, 2009

On July 20, Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), sent a letter to political leaders regarding the America's Affordable Health Choices Act.

On July 20, Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), sent a letter to Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. The subject of his letter was HR 3200, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act.

In the letter, Anderson expressed NACDS’ strong commitment to reforming healthcare in America, including reducing costs, improving the quality of care, and increasing access to critical services. “While we think some additional changes to several aspects of the legislation are needed, we support the legislative process moving forward,” the letter said.

Also expressed were two NACDS concerns about the pharmacy reimbursement provisions - the definition of the average manufacturer price (AMP), and the 130 percent multiplier for dispensing drugs. NACDS believes that these two provisions, unless they are modified, could result in unsustainable pharmacy reimbursement by Medicaid, threatening patient access to affordable prescription medicines and essential pharmacy services.

“Additional changes to the AMP definition are needed. For example, sales of certain drugs to hospitals, physicians, and clinics remain part of the AMP definition,” the letter said. “Clearly, these entities are not part of the retail class of trade, and inclusion of these sales skews the AMP benchmark downward. While we recognize that an AMP may need to be calculated for these sales for the purposes of rebate collection, they should not be used to set FULs for pharmacy reimbursement.”

NACDS believes that Congress needs to address, refine, and correct these two provisions in order to ensure that America’s community pharmacies are fairly and accurately reimbursed for the essential healthcare services they perform.

“As Congress debates the healthcare reform bill, NACDS will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to advocate for pro-patient and pro-pharmacy provisions,” NACDS said in a statement issued after the letter was released.