PHARMACY

Endo elects new board member

BY Allison Cerra

CHADDS FORD, Pa. — Endo’s board of directors has expanded to nine members with the addition of David Nash.

Nash, who is the founding dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, also serves as a board member for Humana.

Endo chairman, Roger Kimmel, said the board welcomes Nash’s contributions as Endo continues to diversify its business.

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PHARMACY

1099 provision of PPACA overturned in House vote

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the bipartisan Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011, which repeals the tax-reporting requirement for small businesses included in the healthcare law.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., passed in a 314-to-112 vote. The provision, which was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , would increase 1099 tax reporting requirements for businesses that purchase goods and services of more than $600.

In response, the leaders of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association praised the passage.

“While pharmacies are businesses, they are in the business of patient care," said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "Pharmacies are the face of neighborhood health care and are highly trusted sources of healthcare information, products and services. Having to spend exorbitant amounts of time on paperwork is not in the best interest of patients and their medication and healthcare needs."

Added NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger, “Thanks to the House of Representatives’ vote, we are on the cusp of eliminating the 1099 tax reporting requirement that forces pharmacists to spend more time dealing with paperwork and less time doing what they do best — helping patients."

Both leaders urged President Obama to sign this bill into law quickly to ensure that pharmacies can continue to focus on serving their patients.

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NACDS responds to reimportation legislation

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRI, Va. — In a letter penned Thursday by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores to Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, the association stated that while it shares the goal of reducing prescription drug costs, authorizing the reimportation of prescription medications — as sought in S.319, the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2011 — raises concerns about patient health and safety.

The bill seeks to authorize the reimportation of prescription medications and permits the implementation of a track-and-trace system for prescription drugs. The letter expressed pharmacy’s commitment to improving patient health and lowering costs in a manner that protects patient health and safety, maintains a safe and secure drug distribution system and supply chain, and fosters communication between patients and pharmacists.

In addition to expressing concerns about patient health and safety, NACDS also highlighted issues surrounding the development of prescription drug track-and-trace system. "It is important to consider the complexities, technical and feasibility issues, and formidable costs for all drug supply chain stakeholders if such [track-and-trace] systems were mandated. These systems have not undergone pilot programs to test their reliability, scalability and address implementation and operational concerns," the letter read.

While expressing concerns with the legislation, NACDS emphasized common ground: the shared goal of improving patient health and reducing costs.

NACDS encouraged Congress to enact legislation that would advance pharmacist-provided medication therapy management services and increase generic utilization. "Instead of pursuing importation as a way to reduce drug expenditures, we urge the consideration of policies to support cost-saving alternatives, such as greater adoption of medication therapy management and increased generic utilization," the letter read.

Two such bills that seek to encourage greater adoption of pharmacist-provided MTM services are S. 274 and H.R. 891, which would expand MTM services to more Medicare beneficiaries.

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