Magazine article Drug Topics

Volume Rx Buys Won't Keep Medicare Costs Down, House Told

Magazine article Drug Topics

Volume Rx Buys Won't Keep Medicare Costs Down, House Told

Article excerpt

Volume discounts for drug purchases are a myth that Congress shouldn't buy as it designs a new Medicare pharmacy benefit, a CVS official told a House subcommittee last month. "You must move a manufacturer's `market share' to obtain these discounts," said James E Smith, senior vp. for health-care service. "If volume purchasing drove manufacturer discounts," he continued, "then why do the largest pharmaceutical purchasers, such as CVS and other large chains, as well as independent pharmacies that belong to large buying groups, pay higher prices for brand drugs than smaller pharmaceutical purchasers who buy less volume?"

Speaking on behalf of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Smith also made these points to the House Energy & Commerce Committee's subcommittee on health:

Any program that expands Rx coverage to seniors should be a pharmacy benefit, not just a drug benefit, and with adequate and appropriate payments for services provided by R. …

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