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PMA TO OPEN WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA

Executive Summary

PMA TO OPEN WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA; the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association board approved the new office March 31. The office will be headed by Deborah Kapsa, who has been with the PMA State Government Affairs Division since 1985 as a regional director for the northeastern states. Kapsa will focus her efforts primarily on possible changes to the pharmaceutical component of the Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) program. * While California will be relatively new to Kapsa, she has worked on Medicaid issues in Virginia and Maryland, as well as Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. She has relocated to Sacramento. The office is PMA's first domestic regional office; the association's other satellite offices are in Tokyo and Brussels. PMA President Mossinghoff said the move reflects "the increasing importance of public policy issues in California, as well as recognition of the state's economic importance. He also pointed out that "some of our members are headquartered in the state and nearly all have plants and offices there." Kapsa "will coordinate PMA activities on industry issues and work closely with Medi-Cal administrators and other California officials and lawmakers." * Medi-Cal recently established a drug discount program headed by Jim Parks, former Medi-Cal Office of Health Systems Financing chief, who assumed his new duties March 1 ("The Pink Sheet" March 12, "In Brief"). The program was created to cut Medi-Cal's drug expenditures, which are expected to total $585 mil. this year. Medi-Cal staff have been meeting in the past week with drug retailer and wholesaler groups and PMA to discuss options for designing a volume discount program. The group is expected to make a presentation to the state legislature's budget committee the first or second week in May and by that point may have settled on one approach. However, the group may also advise that more time is needed to review various options. California Governor Deukmejian (R) recently proposed a budget that calls for a $23 mil. cut in prescription drug costs.
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