LAS VEGAS – Medicaid reimbursement is a top pharmacy priority, with possible activity in Congress expected even this week, said Cathy Polley, vice president, pharmacy services, Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va. Polley gave the keynote speech at the FMI Pharmacy Conference on Saturday. The Pharmacy Conference is co-located with the FMI Show. The main issue has to do with reimbursements based on AMP – Average Manufacturers Price, where they used to be based on AWP – average wholesale price. AMP has historically been used as a benchmark for manufacturer rebates, but CMS seeks to implement AMP as a reimbursement benchmark. Polley urged retailers to take immediate action to contact members of Congress, or to allow FMI to send communications on their behalf. The industry has estimated that 10,000 to 12,000 pharmacies could be forced to close because of this. Litigation brought by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association, both in Alexandria, Va., has helped improve the situation, Polley said, causing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Baltimore, to delay AMP.
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