In letter, NACDS thanks senator for supporting Tricare
ALEXANDRIA A group representing the drug retailing industry commended a senator’s support of the military healthcare program Tricare.
Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who serves as chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he did not support proposed Tricare premium increases, which would offset the healthcare costs that the Department of Defense have been struggling with. In reponse to this, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to the senator, which said that he exhibited "tremendous leadership in protecting access to healthcare providers and services for Tricare beneficiaries."
NACDS said its position on the matter was in line with the subcommittee, which believes "that savings are more likely to be found through improving business practices and encouraging preventive care, rather than increasing premiums, co-payments, and other beneficiary cost sharing," NACDS wrote to Webb.
The group added that the emphasizing the role of pharmacists in health care is just one of the ways healthcare costs can be curbed, as medication nonadherence costs the nation up $290 billion a year in expenditures, according to the New England Healthcare Institute.
Decision Resources: More patients switch to Onglyza from Merck’s Type 2 diabetes drugs
BURLINGTON, Mass. Many Type 2 diabetes patients who use the drug Onglyza (saxagliptin) switched to that drug from Merck’s Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin), according to a new report by market research firm Decision Resources.
The report found that 9.3% of patients for whom Onglyza –– made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca –– was not their first Type 2 diabetes drug had previously used Januvia, while 7.9% had used Janumet. All three drugs belong to the same class, known as DPP-IV inhibitors.
“While about half of physicians we surveyed predict their prescribing of Onglyza will increase over the next two years, and Onglyza has picked up some patient share from Januvia and Janumet, Januvia’s more favorable formulary positioning and noncoverage of Onglyza will remain important hurdles for Onglyza’s uptake,” Decision Resources analyst Kate Sullivan said.
NYT article: FSA changes shed light on old eligibility problems
NEW YORK A New York Times report published Tuesday illustrated exactly how far apart the rubber is from the road when it comes to incentivizing preventive healthcare practices and the implementation of the new rules associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Even as common over-the-counter remedies soon will require a prescription in order to be eligible for reimbursement under flexible spending account arrangements, tried and true preventive healthcare practices, such as breast-feeding, are not and in fact have never been considered eligible for FSA reimbursement, the report noted. “With all the changes the healthcare overhaul will bring in the coming years, it nonetheless will leave those regulations intact when new rules for flexible spending accounts go into effect in January,” the report read.
Breast pumps are not considered eligible FSA expenditures despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics made a direct appeal to the Internal Revenue Service to define such products as breast pumps as a device used for medical care. In May 2009, the IRS determined that breast pumps do not diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease. However, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacture of breast pumps as medical devices, and there are numerous studies that establish the preventive health benefits for children consuming their mother’s breast milk.