NACDS claims victory for pharmacies, patients in South Carolina

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores praised a provision in legislation passed Thursday that will benefit South Carolina's pharmacies.

The new provision will not hold pharmacies responsible for the recent average wholesale price First DataBank/Medi-Span settlements and -- pending approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- sets pharmacy reimbursement at wholesale acquisition cost plus (+)12.5%. The law also calls for an adjustment to the Medicaid dispensing fee should the federal AMP provision become problematic for pharmacies in South Carolina.

The FirstDataBank/Medi-Span settlements refer to litigation surrounding the publishing of drug pricing data. The effect of the settlements is to change these data in a way that harms pharmacies, even though they were not parties in the litigation.

NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson called the passage “a monumental achievement for pharmacy and patients” in the state.

“The excessive rate cuts originally imposed placed a significant burden on pharmacies. The increased reimbursement rate will help preserve access to community pharmacies and maintain the vital pharmacist-patient relationship. This helps to foster medication adherence, which refers to patients’ taking their medications correctly, and that maintains health and ultimately prevents the need for higher-cost forms of health care,” Anderson said.

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