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NCPA Urges President To Sign Tamper Resistant Pad Delay, USA

29-Sep-2007: The U.S. Congress has passed H.R.3688, which includes a provision delaying the implementation of the tamper resistant pad requirements for Medicaid prescription drugs until March 31, 2008. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Executive Vice President and CEO Bruce Roberts, RPh, issued the following statement in response to final passage:

"Community pharmacists are aware of the problems associated across the country with Medicaid fraud. With a stroke of the President's pen, the health care community will have adequate lead time to make the use of tamper-resistant pads a reality. The use of tamper resistant pads should reduce the amount of Medicaid fraud. More importantly, the six month delay will minimize any disruptions to patients' access to prescription drugs that would otherwise occur. I urge President Bush to move swiftly to approve this delay before the October 1st effective date of the law."

This provision was created in the Iraq war-funding bill passed last spring and pharmacists would not be paid unless the Medicaid prescription was written on a tamper-resistant prescription pad. If prescribers do not use the pads then, pharmacists face the dilemma of not filling the script or risking the loss of reimbursement. The implementation time for the program was abbreviated, causing community pharmacists, state Medicaid programs and prescribers little time for education and compliance. The passage of this legislation will allow for proper implementation.

The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines.

Source: Medical News Today

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