NACDS supports letter from Texas, Louisiana Congressmen to CMS administrator

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is pleased with the efforts of the members of the Louisiana and Texas congressional delegations for their effort to increase the Medicaid dispensing fee in their states.

The delegations sent letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Kerry Weems, urging for a plan to be approved that would increase their respective pharmacy dispensing fees in the Medicaid program.

Pharmacies nationwide are facing over $8 billion in cuts to Medicaid reimbursements as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. When that bill was passed, congressional leaders expressed their intention that states would increase dispensing fees to lessen the effects of these dramatic cuts. Texas and Louisiana are among several states that responded by passing legislation to increase dispensing fees. However, CMS must give its approval for the increases to take effect.

“NACDS is very grateful to these Members of Congress for their support of higher dispensing fees,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “The message to CMS is clear: adequate dispensing fees are necessary to help ensure that low-income patients maintain access to prescription medications.”

Lobbying for higher dispensing fees is part of NACDS’ “all branches, all levels of government” strategy for addressing the DRA cuts, which are scheduled to take effect in January 2008.

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