Arlington, Va. – As the 50th anniversary of Medicaid approaches on July 30, Congress is looking for opportunities to strengthen and sustain the Medicaid program. This week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing titled “Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program,” and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) submitted a statement for the hearing.
As Medicaid has evolved over the last 50 years, so has the role of pharmacists in advancing patient care.
As Medicaid has evolved over the last 50 years, so has the role of pharmacists in advancing patient care. In its statement, NACDS emphasized the valuable role pharmacy plays in providing convenient, accessible, and cost-effective health services to Medicaid beneficiaries in partnership with healthcare entities and other providers to improve health outcomes.
“As the face of neighborhood healthcare, community pharmacies and pharmacists provide access to Medicaid prescription medications and over the counter products, as well as cost-effective health services such as immunizations and disease screenings for Medicaid beneficiaries,” NACDS wrote in its statement.
NACDS cited the continued expansion of state Medicaid enrollment as a result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, enabling pharmacists to provide much-needed healthcare services to Medicaid patients.
In the statement, NACDS stressed the importance of the release and timing of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Final Rule on Medicaid Covered Outpatient Drugs. NACDS emphasized the importance of allowing states adequate time to implement average manufacturer price (AMP)-based federal upper limits (FUL) and adjust corresponding dispensing fees.
“CMS must allow states adequate time to implement AMP-based FULs and adjust corresponding dispensing fees that ensure Medicaid drug reimbursement does not fall below drug acquisition cost and that Medicaid beneficiaries continue to have access to critical prescription drugs,” NACDS wrote.
NACDS addressed a proposal within the 21st Century Cures legislation that would exclude authorized generic drugs from the calculation of average manufacturer’s price (AMPs) for brand name drugs. NACDS urged the need for clarification on this proposal and to ensure that manufacturers continue to meet the requirements and obligations to calculate and report AMPs for authorized generic drugs for rebate and pharmacy reimbursement purposes.