NACDS, NCPA sue Delaware governor over state Medicaid reimbursement cuts

6/11/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two pharmacy organizations have filed a joint lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against Delaware Gov. Jack Markell over cuts to the state’s Medicaid reimbursements for branded drugs.

The state made the cuts on April 1, prompting talks between the governor and the state’s Department of Health and Social Services and pharmacy representatives. The talks broke off earlier this month, leading to the lawsuit, filed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

The NACDS and NCPA also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to halt the cuts as the judge considers the lawsuit.

The two organizations estimate that the cuts would result in an average reduction of $3.63 in reimbursement for branded drugs, which is lower than the average pharmacy’s breakeven cost for more than 76% of all branded drugs, resulting in an average loss of $3.84 per prescription.

“Patient access to pharmacy services will be in jeopardy if these cuts take effect,” NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson said in a statement. “During these challenging economic times, Medicaid patients should not be on the losing end of the state’s attempt to reconcile their budget.”

The two organizations also asserted that the cuts violate federal law by ignoring possible effects they will have on patients’ access to care.

“This lawsuit was filed by pharmacies, but it is truly on behalf of Delaware’s Medicaid patients whose access to medications is threatened by these devastating cuts,” NCPA CEO and EVP Bruce Roberts said. “Medicaid is designed to provide health care to financially disadvantaged patients who couldn’t otherwise afford these valuable services.”

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