R.Ph.s say AMP rule will drive them out of Medicaid

February 19, 2007

In a poll of its members, NCPA reported that 86% of community pharmacies stated that the proposed rule governing Medicaid reimbursement for generic drugs would drive them out of the program. The Medicaid program currently bases its federal upper limit (FUL) calculations on average wholesale price (AWP), but under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the agency was directed to change the rate to 250% of the average manufacturers price (AMP). NCPA officials worry that the new ruling may force many community pharmacies out of business and restrict access to medications in many rural and poor urban communities. Citing a GAO report that found that under the rule Medicaid would pay retail pharmacists on average 36% less than their acquisition costs, NCPA executive VP/CEO Bruce Roberts commented: "What we're faced with is not a natural disaster but a public policy disaster."

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