Pharmacy Groups Seek Delay on Medicaid Rx Pad Rule
Pharmacy groups are lobbying Congress to ask for a delay of a rule scheduled to take effect Oct. 1 that will require prescriptions for Medicaid beneficiaries to be written on tamper-resistant pads, claiming the rule would force them to deny treatment to Medicaid patients, CongressDaily reports.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Food Marketing Institute said they agreed with the rule but cited a lack of availability of tamper-proof pads (Edney, CongressDaily, 9/25).
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 (California Healthline, 7/20).
Bob Loeffler, CEO of H-E-B grocery stores and a member of the NACDS board of directors, said, "It's a great idea, but we have a whole system that is chock-full of nontamper-proof pads right now." He said pharmacists would have to either turn patients away or fill Medicaid prescriptions written on nontamper-proof pads and forgo reimbursement. CMS has explained that emergency prescriptions written on nontamper-proof pads would be accepted.
Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio) and Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) have introduced legislation that would delay the requirement for six months. The lawmakers plan to attach their bills to a continuing resolution, which would continue government operations while final budget negotiations for the upcoming fiscal year take place, or to the State Children's Health Insurance Program legislation to be voted on later this week (CongressDaily, 9/25).