(Washington, DC)— The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) issued the following statement on U.S. Senators Scott Brown (R-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and John McCain (R-AZ) introducing The Affordable Medicines Utilization Act of 2011:

“PCMA commends Senators Brown, Wyden, and McCain for recognizing the great potential for generic drugs to reduce costs for state Medicaid pharmacy programs.

“Research commissioned by PCMA indicates that combined savings for states and the federal government would total more than $15 billion over the next ten years if state fee-for-service (FFS) Medicaid programs brought their generic drug use in-line with managed Medicaid pharmacy programs.

“Currently, the generic drug dispensing rate averages just 68% across state Medicaid FFS programs nationally, compared to an 80% level achieved by optimally managed Medicaid pharmacy programs.

“Polling finds voters would rather modernize Medicaid pharmacy than cut benefits for patients or payments to doctors and hospitals.

“Transitioning to a more efficient and affordable pharmacy benefit model would save states across the country billions without limiting access, the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) announced in a recent white paper, “Increasing the Cost-Effectiveness of Medicaid Drug Programs.”

“On top of savings from generics, PCMA-sponsored research has identified nearly $18 billion in additional savings during the 2012-2021 period if state Medicaid programs used additional pharmacy benefit management tools more effectively.”