Lawmakers Propose Delay to New Medicaid Rx Pad Rules
Reps. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio), Marion Berry (D-Ark.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) on Thursday introduced a measure that would delay implementation of a law that will require physicians to write prescriptions for Medicaid beneficiaries on tamper-proof pads, CongressDaily reports (Edney, CongressDaily, 7/20).
Pharmacist groups in a recent letter to lawmakers wrote that millions of Medicaid beneficiaries might not be able to obtain their medications after Oct. 1, when the law takes effect. The provision was included in a spending measure for the Iraq war.
The law was designed to make it more difficult for patients to obtain controlled substances through forged prescriptions and to save the government money. Most doctors are not aware of the law and do not use the pads. Several states already require such use of tamper-resistant pads, often only for controlled substances. Those states typically gave doctors at least a full year to comply with the law (California Healthline, 7/19).
The legislation would require that prescriptions for Class II narcotics such as OxyContin be written on tamper-proof pads.
Wilson said, "This will prevent the most dangerous fraud without preventing those in need from receiving their everyday medications."
The lawmakers introduced the new bill to generate interest in pushing back the law's implementation date and are willing to have the measure attached to other legislation, according to an aide (CongressDaily, 7/20).