HEALTH

AstraZeneca provides Rx savings to Sacramento, Calif., pharmacy patients

BY Alaric DeArment

WILMINGTON, Del. AstraZeneca will provide medications free of charge to qualifying patients in Sacramento, Calif., through its prescription savings program, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker said Wednesday.

 

AstraZeneca said the Primary Care Center Pharmacy was the ninth organization to join the AZ&Me savings program. The pharmacy provides pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to nearly all departments within Sacramento County, dispensing around 1,200 prescriptions per day. Its free drug programs have grown over the last eight years from one to 16 programs with an annual savings of more than $4.4 million, benefiting around 25,000 uninsured patients.

 

 

“The partnership with Sacramento County will help patients who might otherwise go without the medicines they need,” AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals director of patient assistance programs Jennifer McGovern said.

 

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NACDS issues statement on CMS’ withdrawal of AMP provisions

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday after the agency proposed a rule that would withdraw two provisions related to pharmacy Medicaid reimbursement.

In a letter to CMS, NACDS said that it believed the average manufacturer price final rule was "fundamentally flawed, and implemented the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 in a manner that was inconsistent with congressional intent," the letter stated. "Rather than continuing efforts to implement the flawed AMP final rule, we applaud the agency for moving forward with withdrawing the provisions of the AMP final rule, as well as the multiple-source drug rule."

Federal law defines AMP as “with respect to a covered outpatient drug of a manufacturer for a rebate period, the average price paid to the manufacturer for the drug in the United States by wholesalers for drugs distributed to retail community pharmacies and retail community pharmacies that purchase drugs directly from the manufacturer.” The current AMP policy almost could cause retail pharmacies to lose money on nearly every Medicaid generic prescription they dispense.

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PSE sales tracking system nabs meth ring

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS Arkansas state police apprehended and arrested a methamphetamine ring, which had been attempting to acquire large quantities of the precursor ingredient pseudoephedrine at retail pharmacy. The police were tipped off thanks to information provided by LeadsOnLabs, an online system that helps track the illegal sale of PSE, the company announced Monday.

“Breaking up this meth ring was a big step in the fight against meth in the state of Arkansas,” stated Investigator Chris Anderson of the Arkansas state police. In this particular case, some of the individuals already had reached their legal monthly sales limit and were attempting to purchase more pills. The LeadsOnLabs system blocked a total of 43 transactions of the 235 that were attempted by this group.  Because LeadsOnLabs is an online logbook and provides real-time alerts, pharmacies across the state were made aware of this group and immediately were able to deny the sale of additional pills to these individuals.

“We commend the mighty efforts of the Arkansas state police, as well as various local law enforcement agencies, and the work they do to combat meth abuse in their state,” stated Dave Finley, president and CEO of LeadsOnLabs. “We are proud to be able to help them identify individuals and groups of meth makers. Through our partnership we hope to help them win the war against methamphetamines in the state of Arkansas.”

Arkansas instituted the LeadsOnLabs system statewide in an attempt to eradicate meth abuse in the state in 2008, under the direction of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The system has been credited with helping law enforcement bust meth labs and track down meth abusers across the state.

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