Senators thanked for opposing CMS' proposed rule

March 19, 2007

NACDS applauded 46 senators for their leadership in opposition to a proposed rule that could threaten the existence of retail pharmacies, particularly in rural areas and severely restrict the ability of millions of Medicaid beneficiaries to access prescription drugs from retail pharmacies.

NACDS applauded 46 senators for their leadership in opposition to a proposed rule that could threaten the existence of retail pharmacies, particularly in rural areas and severely restrict the ability of millions of Medicaid beneficiaries to access prescription drugs from retail pharmacies. Ken Salazar (D, Colo.) and Pat Roberts (R, Kan.) asked fellow senators to join as signatories to a letter to Leslie V. Norwalk, acting administrator of CMS. The March 13 letter to Norwalk noted that the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 required CMS to use average manufacturer price (AMP) data to set reimbursement rates for generic drugs as a benchmark for states to use in reimbursing retail pharmacies. The senators wrote, "Congress intended CMS to promulgate a rule that would more clearly define AMP. In our view, this definition should closely approximate the costs incurred by retail pharmacies to purchase drugs." The letter asks CMS to delay the release of AMP data "until AMP is calculated based on a uniform and valid definition used by all manufacturers" that will equitably reimburse pharmacies, protect beneficiary access to drugs necessary to maintain their health, and create incentives for cost-saving, generic drug use."

 

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