ARLINGTON, VA — September 26, 2007 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) applauds the House and Senate for taking action to ensure that Medicaid recipients can continue to have their prescriptions filled by delaying to March 31, 2008, a requirement that these scripts be written only on tamper-resistant pads.

The House passed the measure today as part of legislation to extend transitional medical assistance. While the Senate approved the delay as a stand-alone measure earlier this week, it must approve it the same form in which the House passed it.

"We urge the Senate to act swiftly, clearing the way for President Bush to sign the delay into law prior to the October 1 deadline," said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. "This requirement was to take effect next Monday — long before the medical community and pharmacists had time to implement the measure, which was slipped into an Iraq war funding bill this summer."

"A delay will allow supermarket and other community pharmacies time to implement this requirement in a seamless manner without disrupting patient access to vital medicines," Hammonds added.

This action occurred just a week after 75 members of FMI and pharmacy associations met with more than 100 members of Congress in Washington, DC, urgently calling for the delay and other Medicaid reforms.

FMI is now focusing on pharmacy issues in a new federal public policy initiative. Its members operate more than 19,000 pharmacies.

Bill Greer