California Pharmacists Group Takes Legal Action To Force State To Release Prescription Dispensing Fee Report
The California Pharmacists Association yesterday took legal action to force the Department of Health Services to release a report on the cost to pharmacies of dispensing prescription drugs to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. According to CPhA, state law required the department to release the report on July 1. The report, which the state has completed but not issued to the Legislature, found that dispensing each Medi-Cal prescription costs pharmacies $8 or more, according to CPhA. Pharmacies currently receive a $3.95 fee to dispense a Medi-Cal prescription, and Gov. Gray Davis (D) has proposed to decrease the fee to the 1998 level of $3.55 in his fiscal year 2002-2003 budget plan to help cover the state's estimated $23.6 billion deficit. CPhA CEO Carlo Michelotti said, "It's quite a coincidence that the due date of this report, which would show that the current Medi-Cal pharmacy dispensing fee is less than half of what it should be, has been derailed by the Department of Finance and DHS to help avoid conflict with the governor's proposed budget cuts," which he said "would only make matters worse" for California pharmacies (CPhA release, 7/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.