Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Berry Joins Over 200 Pharmacists on Capitol Hill to Call for Medicare Reform

This afternoon, I joined over 200 neighborhood pharmacists and eleven of my congressional colleagues at a rally in support of H.R. 5182, the Fair and Speedy Treatment (FAST) of Claims Act of 2006. My colleague Walter Jones (R-NC) and I introduced this legislation to protect independent pharmacists from going out of business as a result of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit.

According to recent surveys, more than 90% of pharmacists say their cash flow is worse since the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit began on January 1, 2006, and more than 60% have sought outside financial assistance from banks, wholesalers, credit unions or family members to cover the financial shortfalls. Our legislation would protect these pharmacists by ensuring that insurance companies do not provide inadequate and late reimbursement rates under the new Medicare benefit. The bill also promotes greater use of generics, saving taxpayers an estimated $94 for every generic prescription dispensed.

Click here to read the press release from today's event.