ASP pricing: 'We're crying foul'

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

WASHINGTON - A 25% drop in Medicare reimbursement for albuterol has some in the industry demanding investigations into calculation methods.
Average sales price for the drug fell 6 cents to 15 cents per dose in fourth quarter figures.
"We're crying foul on that one," said Mickey Letson, president of Decatur, Ala.-based Letco Companies. "That number cannot possibly be right, according to the system."
Lisa Getson, executive vice president of business development and clinical services for the Lake Forest, Calif.-based Apria, said she was surprised by the drop as well. She speculated that higher volume sales of lower-dose pediatric drugs like Xopenex--which sell for a lower rate--may have brought down the overall average sales price.
"We have long felt there should be a homecare ASP," said Getson. "We are looking into the reduction, whether it's through a Freedom of Information Act request or some other mechanism."
Xopenex reversed a dramatic increase last quarter, losing 37 cents as it fell from $3.76 to $3.39 a dose.
Other prices held stable.