Washington, D.C. The nation’s retail-pharmacy industry won a major victory this week when the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both voted overwhelmingly to override President Bush’s veto of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, thus enacting the pharmacy-friendly bill into law.
Among the key pro-pharmacy measures included in the bill is one that delays implementation of drastic Medicaid pharmacy-reimbursement cuts until September 2009.
It also ensures prompt payment, with a 14-day turnaround, for reimbursement claims for Medicare Part D prescriptions, easing cash-flow problems for smaller pharmacy operators.
“This is a watershed day for pharmacies and patients,” said National Association of Chain Drug Stores’(NACDS) president and CEO Steve Anderson. “By enacting not one, but four, top pharmacy priorities, Congress has demonstrated that it understands the value of patient-pharmacy relationships and the importance of maintaining access to medications and pharmacy services.”