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The taxpayers just keep getting screwed – now it's pharmacists

Is there any element of the health care system that isn’t broken or corrupt? Pharmacists Accused of Inflating Prices. (AP):

Pharmacists are taking advantage of Medicaid pricing rules to reap two and three times their cost for generic medicines, lawmakers said Tuesday.

“Evidence gathered by the committee suggests that Medicaid reimbursement is more generous than that of most private payers,” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The panel’s investigation into Medicaid drug prices was the subject of a hearing Tuesday.

Information supplied by five large retail pharmacy chains showed that drug stores paid an average of 22 cents for seven widely prescribed generic medicines, but received 56 cents in reimbursements from Medicaid, the investigation found.

Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor, spent more than $31 billion on prescription drugs in 2003, triple the amount spent 10 years earlier. The program’s costs are shared by the federal and state governments.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding