Cost of purchasing generic drugs putting American pharmacies at risk

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9th April 2015 11:06 - Pharmaceutical

A survey of 700 American pharmacists has found that community pharmacies are at risk due to insufficient reimbursement rates. This is a Cost of purchasing generic drugs putting American pharmacies at riskproblem that will also affect patients prescribed generic prescription drugs.

Conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association, the survey asked pharmacists to talk about reimbursement rates and how they affect their pharmacy.

The survey found that nearly every pharmacist had experienced a notable increase in the price of generic drugs over the last six months. Of the respondents, 80 per cent said that this occurred in at least 26 instances of purchasing generic drugs during the 6 month period.

Of the respondents, 93 per cent said that the problem has got worse since the same survey in 2013.

87 per cent of the pharmacists said that it took a month or longer for reimbursement rates – often maximum allowable costs (MACS) - to be updated by the insurance plan’s pharmacy benefit managers to reflect the market costs.

A large proportion (92 per cent) said that the problem of slow maximum allowable costs has got worse since 2013 and that appeals to update reimbursement criteria are often ignored by the pharmacy benefit manager.

The drugs that the pharmacists stated as being impacted by below cost reimbursements were:

·         Benazepril – prescribed for high blood pressure

·         Clomipramine - antidepressant

·         Digoxin – prescribed to control heart rate

·         Divalproex - treats seizures and psychiatric conditions

·         Doxycycline - antibiotic

·         Budesonide - asthma

·         Haloperidol – prescribed for those suffering psychotic disorders

·         Hydroxychroloquine – treats rheumatism arthritis and malaria

·         Levothyroxine - prescribed for hypothyroidism

·         Methylphenidate – prescribed to those with ADHD

·         Morphine - pain

·         Nystatin/Triamcinolone – treats fungal skin infections

·         Pravastatin – prescribed to those with high cholesterol or heart disease

·         Tamsulosin - benign prostatic hyperplasia-BPH

·         Tizanidine – a muscle relaxant

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