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Retail Price Survey

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CMS has entered into a contract with Myers & Stauffer, LC, to perform a Retail Price Survey.

The purpose of this initiative is to perform a monthly nationwide survey of retail community pharmacy covered outpatient drug prices and to provide states with weekly updates on pricing files. These pricing files, entitled the NADAC (National Average Drug Acquisition Cost) files, provide state Medicaid agencies with covered outpatient drug prices by averaging survey invoice prices from retail community pharmacies across the United States. The state agencies have the option of using the NADAC files to meet the new Actual Acquisition Cost (AAC) reimbursement requirements in the Covered Outpatient Drug final rule with comment (CMS 2345-FC).

The Retail Price Survey focuses on the retail community pharmacy acquisition costs. This provides for a survey of the purchase prices of all covered outpatient drugs by retail community pharmacies. These pharmacies include independent retail community pharmacies and chain pharmacies. The prices are updated on a weekly and monthly basis.  A methodology document titled Methodology for Calculating the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) (PDF, 351.76 KB) outlines the processes used to derive the NADAC. NADAC Questions and Responses (PDF, 147.23 KB) includes questions and comments received to date regarding the NADAC, along with our responses. To the extent that states consider the NADAC as a reference price when setting their reimbursement methodology, they must submit a State Plan Amendment (SPA) to CMS in accordance with state plan requirements if they decide to use NADAC as a basis for payment.

Effective November 27, 2013, CMS began posting final NADAC files. To view the NADAC weekly files and the NADAC Week to Week File Comparison, please visit the Pharmacy Drug Pricing Page.  

Please note that the NADAC file is updated on a weekly basis. Each month, a new file is posted to reflect findings from the previous month’s survey results incorporating the weekly price changes that have occurred in the interim weeks before the next monthly NADAC file. For more information on the fields in the NADAC weekly file, please see the NADAC Data Field Definitions (PDF, 24.97 KB). In addition, to easily identify and understand the pricing changes that occur each week, we are posting a NADAC Week to Week File Comparison which will accompany the weekly NADAC file. This comparison file identifies the drug products with current NADAC rates that are replaced with new NADAC rates. Other changes (e.g. NDC additions and terminations) to the NADAC file are not reflected in this comparison. The explanation of the data fields used in the comparison file are further defined in the NADAC Week to Week Comparison Data Field Definitions (PDF, 20.59 KB).

The NADAC Equivalency Metrics (PDF, 100.26 KB) are published on a quarterly basis and are intended to be utilized for analyzing and monitoring the NADAC pricing relationship to compendia drug pricing values. In addition, the NADAC equivalency metrics can be utilized by state Medicaid programs for evaluating their respective pharmacy reimbursement protocols. A methodology document titled NADAC Equivalency Methodology (PDF, 75.07 KB) has been developed to outline the processes used to derive the NADAC Equivalency Metrics file.

NADAC Help Desk

Please contact the NADAC Help Desk for support of the NADAC survey, or to provide notification of recent drug price changes that are not reflected in posted NADAC files.

The NADAC Help Desk can be contacted through the following means.

Toll-free phone: (855) 457-5264
Electronic mail: info@mslcrps.com
Facsimile: (844) 860-0236

Help Desk Form (PDF, 740.26 KB)

Please note that the Help Desk will not address pharmacy inquiries into specific state claim reimbursement related questions or concerns.

Archived NADAC Materials: