PHARMACY

Group of independent business owners urges House leaders to support FAST Act

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In a clear gesture of support for independent pharmacy owners, the National Federation of Independent Business today urged Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to push for a speedier payment system for Medicare prescription claims from retail pharmacies.

The NFIB sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., urging them to include H.R.1474, the Fair and Speedy Treatment of Medicare Prescription Drug Claims Act of 2007, in the Medicare package being considered before Congress adjourns this year. The letter, dated Dec. 13 and signed by Dan Danner, NFIB executive vice president for public policy, could elevate the issue at a critical time.

“While pharmacists typically must pay their suppliers every 15 days, many report waiting as long as 90 days to receive their reimbursements under the Medicare Part D program,” Danner told the lawmakers. “Small and independent pharmacists have indicated the delayed payments have forced them to delay expansions and borrow from their savings to cover payroll, wholesaler bills and other basic operating costs.

“The FAST Act ensures that claims which are submitted electronically are paid within 14 days and all other claims are paid within 30 days,” Danner added.

According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, the FAST Act now has a bipartisan majority of 233 cosponsors in the House. A companion bill working its way through the Senate, known as the Pharmacy Access Improvement Act of 2007, has also drawn bipartisan support, with a majority of the members of the Senate Finance Committee signing on as cosponsors.

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PHARMACY

FDA grants Mylan tentative approval for generic Lamictal

BY Drew Buono

PITTSBURGH, Pa. Mylan Pharmaceuticals has received tentative approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of Lamictal.

Lamictal, by GlaxoSmithKline is used to treat epilepsy and bipolar I disorder. The generic version, lamotrigine, will be available in 25 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 200 mg tablet strengths.

The drug had sales of about $1.97 billion for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2007.

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NoMoreClipboard.com, ReliefInsite.com partner to offer online pain management module

BY Drew Buono

FORT WAYNE, Ind. NoMoreClipboard.com and ReliefInsite.com have teamed up to ease pain management for patients, practitioners and caregivers. The two have incorporated a free pain management module into the NoMoreClipBoard.com interface.

NoMoreClipboard.com, an online personal health record company, works with health care providers and industry groups to simplify transactions between patients, providers and payors, saving each party significant time and effort. Within NoMoreClipboard.com, patients or caregivers can store information such as allergies, medications and medical conditions in a secure environment. The patient can then choose to share their records with selected health care providers, and NoMoreClipboard.com takes care of securely transferring the record to physicians on behalf of the patient. ReliefInsite.com is a health care information technology company that provides secure online pain management services.

The ReliefInsite.com pain management module within NoMoreClipboard.com allows patients to share their daily pain diary with doctors, nurses, therapists, family members and friends. In addition, ReliefInsite.com offers dynamic, real-time graphical reports to help improve patient compliance, and assists case managers by monitoring therapy effectiveness with time-stamped records, revealing the interaction between pain levels and the patient’s personal and professional lifestyle.

“NoMoreClipboard.com allows patients to store and manage health information and share it with their health care providers, easily and seamlessly,” said Jeff Donnell, NoMoreClipboard.com vice president of marketing. “The ReliefInsite pain management module makes our personal health record even more valuable for the 50 million Americans who currently suffer from chronic pain.”

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