Medicare Drug Benefit Affects Pharmacies’ Finances
Independent pharmacies "have been hit especially hard" by the Medicare drug benefit, and the problems associated with the drug benefit could be "the tipping point" for some pharmacies that are already struggling financially, the Sacramento Bee reports.
A California Pharmacists Association survey found that 55.8% of independent pharmacies said the reimbursement schedule under the drug benefit has created a "significant negative financial impact" on their business. Forty-three percent of independent pharmacists said they were "somewhat" or "very" likely to sell their business, according to the survey.
Michael Negrete, vice president of clinic programs at CPhA, said the recent, unexpected closure of a Sacramento mail-order pharmacy "is a sign (of things) to come for pharmacies."
The pharmacy's owner said his decision to close was influenced by issues with the Medicare program (Le, Sacramento Bee, 3/28).