PHARMACY

Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act signed into law

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour recently signed into law the Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act, which establishes oversight of pharmacy benefit managers (defined as nonresident pharmacies) by the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy.

The law goes into effect July 1.

“Our hope is that other states will follow this approach, because it will ensure that a premium is placed on transparency and fairness and not the size of PBMs’ profit margins,” stated Douglas Hoey, EVP and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, in response to the bill’s passing. “It makes sense to have PBMs subject to board of pharmacy oversight, since pharmacists, drug manufacturers and distributors are already under their control.”

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PHARMACY

Merck closer to acquiring Inspire

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck has cleared a hurdle in its effort to buy eye care company Inspire Pharmaceuticals for $430 million, the company said Thursday.

The expiration of the waiting period mandated by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 brings Merck one step closer to acquiring Inspire.

Merck announced its intention to buy Raleigh, N.C.-based Inspire for $5 per share on April 15.

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PHARMACY

Navarro Discount Pharmacy launches mobile app

BY Antoinette Alexander

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy, which operates 28 stores in the Miami area, has launched a free pharmacy mobile application for its customers.

The new Navarro Rx App, m.navarro.com, is available for cell phones and smartphones, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile 7 (coming soon), and also supports two-way interactive SMS messaging.

The mobile app enables customers to manage their prescriptions and related health information directly from their mobile device. Features include:

  • The ability to view and reorder active prescriptions;

  • Reminders via two-way SMS, email, push notifications and mobile calendar integration;

  • The ability to get pickup reminders when prescriptions are ready;

  • Automatic delivery of refill reminders;

  • Dosage reminders;

  • The ability to request refills and track refill status by SMS or phone app;

  • Store maps and locators, including nearest pharmacy locations; and

  • The ability to manage doctor and other key health information.

"Making a mobile app available for customers is yet another way we are enhancing the customer experience at Navarro," said Albert Garcia, EVP pharmacy operations.

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