New ASP pricing: 'We're crying foul'

Sunday, October 1, 2006

WASHINGTON - A 25% drop in reimbursement for albuterol has some in the industry scratching their heads. 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."

Letson said the price for albuterol would have had to drop to almost nothing in at least one quarter to arrive at an ASP of 15 cents this time. But Letson said he hasn't seen any drop in the price for albuterol and doesn't know of anyone else who has either. He said he sent a letter to his congressman seeking an inquiry.

"We want to open up the last four quarters reported and recalculate them," said Letson.

Xopenex reversed a dramatic increase last quarter, losing 37 cents to fall from $3.76 to $3.39 a dose.

With the industry still awaiting final decisions on a proposal to reimburse brand-name drugs DuoNeb and Xopenex at generic rates and plans to cut payments to compounding pharmacies starting in January 2007, the future looks uncertain for neb-med providers.

Other prices held stable with DuoNeb and Pulmicort each up 2 cents a dose to $1.09 and $4.56, respectively; Ipratropium stayed at 21 cents per dose.