Pharmacists Lobbying Against Medicaid Tamper-Proof Pad Rule

Armen Hareyan's picture

Pharmacy groups are lobbying Congress to ask for a delay of a rulescheduled to take effect Oct. 1 that will require prescriptions forMedicaid beneficiaries to be written on tamper-resistant pads, claimingthe 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).


Theprovision was included in a spending measure for the Iraq war. The lawwas designed to make it more difficult for patients to obtaincontrolled substances through forged prescriptions and to save thegovernment money (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 7/20).

Bob Loeffler, CEO of H-E-Bgrocery 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 ofnontamper-proof pads right now." He said pharmacists would have toeither turn patients away or fill Medicaid prescriptions written onnontamper-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 GeorgeVoinovich (R-Ohio) have introduced legislation that would delay therequirement for six months. The lawmakers plan to attach their bills toa continuing resolution, which would continue government operationswhile final budget negotiations for the upcoming fiscal year takeplace, or to SCHIP legislation to be voted on later this week (CongressDaily, 9/25).

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