PHARMACY

ACAP: Drug rebate equalization allows states to restore Rx benefits to managed care

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is producing savings for state Medicaid programs that take advantage of a provision equalizing drug rebates between managed care and fee-for-service programs, according to a fact sheet released Tuesday by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans.

The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program was the result of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and provides federal rebates to states for outpatient drugs dispensed to Medicaid patients, as long as the drugs’ manufacturers have rebate agreements with the Department of Health and Human Services. But Medicaid managed care programs were excluding, leading states to remove prescription drugs from health plan benefits, also known as carve-outs.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision, however, removes that exclusion, allowing states to restore prescription drug benefits to managed care.

“It used to be that states faced a difficult choice,” ACAP CEO Margaret Murray said. “They could carve out prescription drugs from their Medicaid plans and enjoy the high federal rebate or opt for lower rebates and seek savings through the better care coordination offered by managed care. Drug rebate equalization allows states to enjoy both benefits.”

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A.FEIN says:
Jul-27-2011 08:45 am

Here's a link to the ACAP fact sheet for those who prefer to read the original source: http://www.communityplans.net/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=tge0YKTKE40%3d&tabid=66

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PHARMACY

Study: Deaths related to chickenpox-causing virus decrease, thanks to vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — Chickenpox is the scourge of many a schoolchild and usually a convenient, if itchy and feverish, reason to stay home for several days, but it also has been fatal for many who catch it — until recently.

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, since a vaccine for varicella, the virus that causes chickenpox, became available in 1995, deaths from the virus have been virtually eliminated.

Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the annual average rate of deaths that had varicella as the underlying cause declined by 88%, from 0.41 per million between 1990 and 1994 to 0.05 per million between 2005 and 2007.

Among patients younger than 50 years of age, the death rate declined by 96%, including 97% for children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age. Among children ages 1 to 9 years, only six deaths were reported between 2002 and 2007, compared with 13 to 16 deaths per year before the vaccine’s introduction.

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Target opens three retail clinics in Twin Cities market

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Target opened on Monday three new retail-based health clinics in the Twin Cities as part of its expansion plan announced earlier this year.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Target announced earlier this year plans to open eight new clinic locations this year in the Twin Cities (four clinics), Chicago (three clinics) and Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla., areas (one clinic) by the end of July. The first of the new clinics opened in the Twin Cities on March 2.

According to a local news report, three new Twin Cities locations opened on Monday.

Earlier this year, Target stated that it would have 44 Target Clinic locations by the end of July.

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