March 26, 2014

The month of March came in like a lion, indeed, but not because of the weather. The month began with a roar as a group of the largest and most influential pharmacy associations and chains came together to form the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, or PAPCC, in an effort to secure formal federal recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers.

March 26, 2014

Message to federal health plan payers from community pharmacy: We have the systems in place and the professional expertise to help millions of patients to better their health outcomes at a lower cost. Message to pharmacy from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Prove it.

March 25, 2014

Walgreens on Tuesday posted a sales increase of 5.1% to $19.6 billion for the second quarter ended Feb. 28. First-half sales were up 5.5% to $37.9 billion.

March 20, 2014

Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week.

March 12, 2014

Citing pharmacist-administered medication therapy management, recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers, the need for fair and accurate pharmacy reimbursement in state Medicaid programs and other pharmacy services, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a statement to lawmakers urging them to consider pharmacy provisions within the “Fiscal 2015 Budget,” released by the administration last week.

March 11, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided not to move forward on several of the proposed provisions of the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug program, according to reports.

March 11, 2014

Bipartisan legislation that would designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Medicare program was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare program with services not currently available to them.

March 3, 2014

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Friday hosted a Congressional briefing highlighting the economic impact the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule on prescription labeling that would allow for label changes without prior FDA approval.

February 24, 2014

Concurrent opioid prescribing by multiple providers is common in Medicare patients and is associated with higher rates of hospital admission related to opioid use, according to a study published last week in BMJ.

February 19, 2014

Tricare for Life beneficiaries soon will receive letters guiding them to Tricare Pharmacy Home Delivery or a military pharmacy for some prescriptions as part of a congressionally mandated pilot program, officials of the military healthcare plan reported Tuesday.

February 18, 2014

Now that most generics have declined in cost, plans will look for new ways to control health spend and ensure that generics are being used whenever possible.

February 18, 2014

From 2012 to 2017, global spending on medicines will increase from $205 billion to $235 billion, according to IMS Health. By 2017, 36% of the spend will be on generics, a number that is 9% more than the percentage in 2013.

February 18, 2014

The federal agency in charge of Medicare is pushing for a major overhaul of its Medicare Part D drug benefit program for seniors.

February 12, 2014

A Medicare proposed rule change limiting the number of prescription drug plans that insurers may offer in the Part D market could require 39% of all enhanced plans to be eliminated in 2016, according to an analysis from Avalere Health that was released Wednesday.

February 12, 2014

Members of Congress are contacting the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in support of pro-patient improvements the agency proposed for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in 2015, a development applauded today by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

February 7, 2014

In a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the GAO found that the total draft federal upper limits amount based on the new formula under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was about 1.4% lower than the total National Average Drug Acquisition Cost amount in aggregate for 1,035 outpatient drugs subject to the FUL in first quarter 2013.

February 7, 2014

From 2012 to 2017, global spending on medicines will increase from $205 billion to $235 billion, according to IMS Health. By 2017, 36% of the spend will be on generics, a number that is 9% more than the percentage in 2013.

As a result of the patent cliff, generic drug manufacturers have thrived while branded pharmaceutical manufacturers have suffered. Branded pharmaceutical manufacturers are expected to suffer even more in the coming years, as many more important patents will lose exclusivity.
A recent paper from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services delves into these issues and more.

February 6, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule on prescription drug labeling would add $4 billion annually to the nation’s healthcare costs, undercutting the cost savings that generic medicines have brought to America’s patients and healthcare system, according to an analysis released Wednesday by economic consulting firm Matrix Global Advisors.

February 3, 2014

Leaders from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores set the stage Monday morning at the Regional Chain Conference for regional chain attendees to tackle issues ranging from the Affordable Care Act implementation to digital’s impact on shoppers and stores, to how to engage in interactive discussions and business meetings.

January 31, 2014

Interim financial results for 114 ACOs that began work in 2012 show that they generated $128 million in savings for the Medicare trust fund in the first year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported in a blog posted Thursday.

January 23, 2014

When selecting an exchange health plan under the Affordable Care Act, consumers should be able to evaluate plans’ success in medication management, among other quality measures, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores stated in comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

January 17, 2014

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday expressed its support behind the Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act (S. 1935).

January 17, 2014

The Medicare Part D program and taxpayers often pay more when prescription drugs are obtained through "preferred" pharmacies and mail order than they would if the same prescriptions were filled through other, "non-preferred" pharmacies, according to a cost comparison made by the National Community Pharmacists Association released Thursday using the Medicare Plan Finder website.

January 15, 2014

Reform of eligibility criteria for MTM services would improve access to care for seniors and boost medication adherence, according to an article co-authored by Laura Miller, senior economist with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.