US Pharm. 2007;32(12):6.

Lawsuit Filed to Block Medicaid Drug Cuts
Alexandria, VA -- The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) filed a motion requesting expedited review of a lawsuit it filed that challenges Medicaid reimbursement reductions imposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), scheduled to be implemented in January 2008. In a joint statement, the two associations said "the cuts to Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement rates which CMS wants to implement…would force community pharmacies to sell Medicaid-reimbursed generic medicines at one-third below acquisition cost. Our members cannot do that and be able to purchase, stock, and dispense drugs in the low-income communities where Medicaid sales are a large percentage of the business. If unaddressed, small and independent pharmacies will be forced to close their doors or to drop out of Medicaid and further threaten low-income Americans' access to quality health care."

OIG Report: Medicare Providers Late in Refunding $4.4B
Washington -- In a report issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson said that the Medicare Part D prescription program left insurers free to use uncollected overpayments for 2006. According to the OIG, the prescription benefit will cost taxpayers $50 billion in 2007. Ten companies account for 80% of the 24 million participants in drug plans. Of the $4.4 billion owed to the government, UnitedHealth of Minnetonka, Minnesota, owes $2 billion, Humana of Louisville, Kentucky, owes $460 million, and Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. owes Medicare $210 million. The report drew criticism from Representative Pete Stark, a California Democrat and chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. He said that many companies who participate in the Medicare prescription program are getting "multibillion-dollar, zero-interest loans from Medicare. [Medicare] hasn't tried to recoup this money and is even refusing to acknowledge that modifications to the law may be needed to ensure these overpayments are prevented in the future."

Greenstone Receives HDMA's DIANA Award
Peapack, NJ -- Greenstone Limited, the generic pharmaceutical subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., received the Healthcare Distribution Management Association's (HDMA) distinguished DIANA Award as the "Best Overall Generic Pharmaceutical Products Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors over $100 Million." The DIANAAward (Distribution Industry Award for Notable Achievements in Healthcare) has been in existence since 1959 and is awarded to companies that develop creative and results-oriented programs that set the standard for excellence in new-product introductions and/or product promotions, as well as benefit health care distributors.

NCPDP Provides Prescriber Database to Medicaid Agencies
Scottsdale, AZ -- The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) said it will waive the annual licensing fee for a period of one year for its HCIdea Prescriber Database product in an effort to "streamline the transition from legacy prescriber identifiers to the National Provider Identifier (NPI)." HCIdea is a relational database containing prescriber DEA numbers, state licenses, NPIs, multiple addresses, and other prescriber information. The NPIs contained within HCIdea are obtained from the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES), a primary data source. By utilizing this database, companies who process Medicaid prescription drug claims will now be assured they are using the correct NPI for prescribers.

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