‘Well-Fortified’ Drugstores Have ‘Fighting Chance’ Against Government Reform, Wall Street Journal SaysRecent events in Washington state indicate that "well-fortified" pharmacy chains have a "fighting chance" as the health care industry gears up for "an assault of government reform," the Wall Street Journal reports. Last week, a court stalled the state from imposing a rule that would have cut Medicaid reimbursements for brand-name prescription drugs after Walgreen and other drugstores threatened to withdraw from the program.
CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen -- the three largest drugstore companies in the U.S. -- represent 40% of the prescription market, and their share of Medicaid prescriptions is even higher, the Journal reports. Even so, Medicaid makes up only a small amount of the three chain's revenue, while Medicare accounts for more than 10%.
"Sweeping changes to Medicare could be harder to fight than Medicaid rules on the state level," the Journal reports. However, the federal government can use other ways, such as reducing Medicare insurer payments, before looking at drugstores, according to the Journal (Jannarone, Wall Street Journal, 4/6). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.