HEALTH

Congressman honored by HDMA

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Wednesday honored Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, with its Rx Safety and Healthcare Leadership Award.

The award recognizes public officials for their leadership and commitment to public policies that support and promote the safe and efficient delivery of life-saving medicines to patients nationwide.

“Congressman Green understands and advocates for policies that promote a safe and efficient supply chain, recognizing the importance of HDMA distributors in providing important medications to patients across the country,” HDMA president and CEO John Gray said. “His continued effort to ensure the proper treatment of prompt pay discounts in pharmaceutical reimbursement calculations used in Medicare will, if enacted, lead to more accessible, more affordable health care for Americans nationwide.”

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HEALTH

New Azo product provides PMS relief

BY Michael Johnsen

CROMWELL, Conn. — Amerifit Brands on Wednesday launched its Azo PMS product, which has been formulated to help reduce moodiness, irritability and bloating with a variety of ingredients, including high-potency B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, folic acid and two natural herbal blends, the company stated.

The two herbal blends include an antibloating herbal diuretic with buchu leaf, cornsilk stylus, couch grass hydrangea root, juniper berry and uva ursi leaf. The combination addresses such physical symptoms as bloating and water retention. The second herbal blend of Chinese date fruit, white peony root extract, chasteberry fruit extract, ginger root extract, cramp bark and magnolia bark extract works to address such emotional symptoms as moodiness and irritability.

Premenstrual syndrome refers to a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms that typically occur five to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle, and at least 85% of menstruating women have at least one PMS symptom as part of their monthly cycle. While other products address the physical symptoms of PMS, Azo PMS has the added benefit of also reducing the emotional changes caused by hormonal fluctuations associated with PMS, Amerifit noted.

Azo PMS can be taken as needed (episodically) and does not have to be taken daily to be effective. Additionally, the formula is fast-acting, affording women quick relief. The suggested retail price of Azo PMS is $7.49 for 24 blister-sealed caplets.

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Legislation seeks to preserve patient access to diabetes supplies at community pharmacies

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., on Monday introduced legislation that would exempt community pharmacies with less than 10 locations from having to participate in Medicare competitive acquisition programs and pricing when it comes to the sale of blood-glucose meters and supplies.

Under present regulations, H.R. 1936, the Medicare Access to Diabetes Supplies Act, will require that everybody who sells durable medical equipment either be included in competitive bidding or have competitive prices applied to them in 2016. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have indicated the agency would include community pharmacists in the application of that law.

That factor could push many pharmacies out of the DME/diabetes supply business. “Without enactment of this legislation, or a comparable exemption, seniors would suffer diminished access as small pharmacies could no longer offer these supplies and provide face-to-face guidance,” stated Douglas Hoey, EVP and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association as part of a release in support of the bill issued Tuesday. “Most independent pharmacies will not be able to meet the competitive bidding requirement to service an entire metropolitan statistical area and to match the cut-rate bid prices of giant mail-order facilities.”

The bill was referred to both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Committee on Ways and Means.

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