PHARMACY

Mass. House passes bill to increase regulations for compounding pharmacies

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — State representatives in Massachusetts have unanimously passed a bill that would allow patients to check the safety records of compounding pharmacies there, according to published reports.

The Boston Globe reported that the state Senate would take up a bill that would require the publishing of the pharmacies’ safety records in light of the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak last year linked to the New England Compounding Center. The bill would also require pharmacists who prepare sterile drugs to take continuing education classes.

The outbreak, in which more than 700 people in 20 states became sick and more than 60 died, has resulted in calls for greater state and federal regulations. Last month, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association expressed support for the Drug Quality and Security Act, which would extend federal oversight over compounding pharmacies.

 

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PHARMACY

National Health Systems introduces pharmacy division aimed at independents

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas — The parent company of pharmacy software maker PDX has formed a new division to provide independent pharmacies with software and services, which it said would create portable, interoperable healthcare data.

National Health Systems announced Monday the creation of the Community Pharmacy Division within PDX and fellow NHS company National Health Information Network. The new offerings will allow independents’ patients to share electronic healthcare data with other pharmacies and their providers.

Though PDX will continue to offer support and enhancements to its Classic Pharmacy System, it also announced the new PDX Community Pharmacy System for independents, developed with technology used in the PDX Enterprise Pharmacy System and RapidFill, which is currently installed in more than 1,200 chain pharmacies and planned for an additional 3,200.

Features in the new system include the latest in prescription filling and pharmacy management technology; a patient-centric web engine for each pharmacy, hosted in the PDX data centers in Dallas and Forth Worth, Texas; an interface to the new Rx.com Community Healthcare Network and Rx.com CareRx Software; a new Nursing Home application; a new point-of-sale application; NHIH Community Pharmacy AssistRx Third-Party Reconciliation; and NHIN Community Pharmacy Access Data File Standardization.

"I started my career as a community pharmacist in a small, west Texas town and was the pharmacy consultant for both nursing homes in the little town, as well as the county hospital," NHS founder and chairman Ken Hill said. "Independent community pharmacists have always been involved in their communities, and there are almost 8,000 rural communities that do not have a major drug chain offering retail clinic healthcare services within 100 miles of them. I firmly believe that the independent community pharmacies in these towns can and will develop healthcare centers to service patients in their areas with vaccinations, MTM services and so on, including lab services in some cases and chronic disease care plans that payers are already implementing in many urban populations."

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Calif. governor should veto biosimilar bill, GPhA’s Ralph Neas writes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A trade group of generic drug makers is hoping that California’s governor vetoes a bill that it says would restrict patients’ access to biosimilars.

In an op-ed published Friday in the San Jose, Calif., Mercury News, Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO Ralph Neas wrote that the bill, S.B. 598, which the legislature passed last month, would cause the state to miss out on the more than $27.6 billion in savings over the next decade that pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts estimates could be had if the state’s healthcare system had full access to biosimilars.

"Unless Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes a bill that would restrict future access to biosimilar medicines, Californians are at risk of becoming pawns in the self-serving efforts of large biotech companies to protect profits at the expense of patients," Neas wrote.

Click here to read the full letter.

 

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