Walgreen Co. will continue to dispense Medicaid prescriptions in Delaware until at least early August while seeking to reach a compromise with the state over reimbursement rates.


Walgreens, Delaware, Medicaid, reimbursement, pharmacy, Medicaid prescriptions, Kermit Crawford, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Rita Landgraf, drug chain, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association, Geoff Walden
































































































































































































































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Walgreens gives Delaware more time

July 20th, 2009

WILMINGTON, Del. – Walgreen Co. will continue to dispense Medicaid prescriptions in Delaware until at least early August while seeking to reach a compromise with the state over reimbursement rates.

Walgreens, the largest drug chain in Delaware with 62 stores, had planned to stop filling Medicaid prescriptions on July 5 to protest a rate cut.

Under an agreement reached days before the deadline, Walgreens opted to remain a Medicaid provider until at least August 5 while continuing negotiations with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

“This extension gives both of us needed time to work out an agreement without impacting pharmacy care to Medicaid recipients,” said Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy Kermit Crawford. “We’re hopeful a compromise will be reached.”

Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said she was pleased “that both sides are at the table to look for a permanent solution that benefits everyone, including Delaware’s taxpayers and Medicaid enrollees.”

The state reduced its reimbursement level for branded drugs to 84% from 86% of the average wholesale price in April. After talks with Walgreens, the state lifted the level to 85% on July 1.

The cut would result in the chain losing money on more than four-fifths of the branded scripts it fills for Medicaid, Crawford said.

“The prospect of filling those prescriptions at a loss put us in a difficult position,” he
commented.

Cutting rates “isn’t in the best interests of patients, pharmacies or the state when that leads to less access for patients and higher costs,” Crawford added. “We’ve proposed many other alternatives that will save the state much more than a harmful rate cut.”

The extension of the talks followed an attempt by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association to block the cut. The groups have sought a preliminary injunction against the cuts until a judge can consider their contention that the new rate violates several laws and could jeopardize patients.

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