Ninety percent of seniors nationwide have access to preferred pharmacies under Medicare Part D, regardless of where they live, according to a Hart Research Associates survey, but the CMS is showing signs that it might interfere with preferred pharmacy contracts despite having assured Congress "that CMS would pursue no 'controversial' changes," according to PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. The Federal Trade Commission has already cautioned that earlier proposed rules would "threaten the effectiveness" of pharmacy networks.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suggested that state leaders facing budget shortfalls encourage generic over brand-name drugs, tighten some eligibility requirements and increase efficiency. States and the federal government could save $30 billion by managing Medicaid pharmacy more like Medicare and commercial-sector programs, according to a recent report. "By managing pharmacy benefits like other, more successful programs, governors can cut billions in Medicaid without cutting benefits to patients or payments to doctors and hospitals," PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt said.
A survey of CVS Caremark clients found that managing costs is the top priority, with 94% of employers surveyed saying they will seek additional savings in 2010. The survey of clients representing 285 employers also found price, customer service, and trust and reliability to be priorities.