NCPA: Study Highlights How Pharmacists Can Help Reduce Medicaid Costs Through Greater Generic Drug Utilization


Up to $329 million in savings per year; Local pharmacies are leading provider of generics

Alexandria, Va. - March 31, 2011

National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Executive Vice President and CEO Kathleen Jaeger today issued the following statement in response to an American Enterprise Institute study regarding the use of multiple source drugs in the Medicaid health program:

"As the new AEI report states, generic medicines can help reduce overall Medicaid costs. As community pharmacists, we see this every day as we work to help patients afford the critical medicines they need. According to IMS Health, every two percent increase in generic utilization in Medicaid saves taxpayers an additional $1 billion annually. Community pharmacies are leading the way in consistently dispensing generic drugs. In fact, we dispense them more often than other practice settings, such as mail order pharmacies.

"Independent community pharmacists play a key role in the Medicaid prescription drug benefit. We are trusted providers of affordable, quality care to many patients in underserved rural and urban areas where there may be few, if any, other accessible options. Community pharmacists stand ready to work with federal and state Medicaid officials seeking to maintain vital health services in the face of significant budget shortfalls.

"The report's author singled out Massachusetts as a pioneer state in improving generic drug utilization. The Massachusetts fee-for-service Medicaid program has a generic dispensing rate of 79.3%—a rate which could save $5.14 billion nationally if each state achieved a similar Medicaid generic drug substitution."

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

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