Pink Sheet is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call +44 (0) 20 3377 3183

Printed By



Executive Summary

SEN. PRYOR's MEDICAID DRUG PRICE PROPOSAL WILL SAVE $100 MIL. TO $200 MIL. per year in prescription drug expenditures under Medicaid, according to estimates by the staff of the senator's Special Committee on Aging. In support of the estimate, an April 13 summary of Pryor's (D-Ark.) legislation notes that Medicaid agencies in just two states have projected annual Medicaid drug savings totaling $70 mil. from negotiated manufacturer price discounts. "California has independently estimated that drug price negotiations will save its Medicaid [Medi-Cal] program $40 mil. per year," [see related story, p. 7] and "New York believes a 10% across-the-board negotiated price reduction could save as much as $30 mil. per year," the summary states. The document also notes that Pryor is modifying the therapeutic interchange provision in his Medicaid drug price rebate proposal by requiring pharmacists to get prescriber "verification" or approval before dispensing a preferred alternative product in place of a prescribed drug. The updated proposal requires a pharmacist to telephone the prescriber "should a physician prescribe a non-preferred drug when a preferred drug is rated as a safe and effective alternative, without writing on the prescription that the non-preferred drug is medically necessary." The pharmacist then would "request a telephone order authorizing the preferred drug," and the prescriber would "either issue a telephone order for the preferred drug or issue a restrictive prescription that states the non-preferred is medically necessary." Pryor has not yet introduced a formal bill. His original proposal, floated on March 20, contained a physician override mechanism so that prescribers could block substitution of a "best price" alternative for a non-preferred drug written on a prescription form ("The Pink Sheet" March 26, p. 3). * By adding another safeguard against such interchange without prescriber approval, the senator apparently is responding to complaints by lobbyists for drug manufacturers and physicians, who have criticized the bill as establishing unauthorized therapeutic substitution. Pharmacy representatives reportedly are not concerned with the added burden the verification provision would place on pharmacists. The summary states that the verification process would ensure "that a patient's physician has absolute control over the drug dispensed" -- control that can be particularly "important" for certain patients' "special needs." The draft also asserts that the resulting pharmacist-prescriber "conversations, when they occur, provide a valuable opportunity for the interaction between the physician and pharmacist that may result in improved care, as well as reduced direct outlays for non-preferred drugs."

You may also be interested in...

Part D Discount Liability Coming Into Focus: CMS Releases Drug Cost Data

Newly released Medicare Part D data sheds light on the sales hit that branded pharmaceutical manufacturers will face when the coverage gap discount program gets under way in 2011

FDA Skin Infections Guidance Spurs Debate On Endpoint Relevance

FDA appears headed for a showdown with clinicians and the pharmaceutical industry over the proposed new clinical trial endpoints for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, the guidance's approach for justifying a non-inferiority margin and proposed changes in the types of patients that should be enrolled in trials

Shire Hopes To Sow Future Deals With $50M Venture Fund

Specialty drug maker Shire has quietly begun scouting deals with a brand-new $50 million venture fund, the latest of several in-house investment arms to launch with their parent company's pipelines, not profits, as the measure of their worth




Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Your question has been successfully sent to the email address below and we will get back as soon as possible. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts