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NACDS applauds bipartisan bills that seek to preserve patient pharmacy choice

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday sent letters to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., applauding their sponsorship of companion legislation that seeks to preserve pharmacy choice for patients.

The bipartisan Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act (H.R. 1971 and S. 1058) seeks to address concerns about some pharmacy benefit management tactics and includes provisions related to transparency, the frequency of updating maximum allowable cost pricing, networks, audits, use of data and forced use of a PBM’s own mail-order pharmacy.

“This legislation will protect American consumers and the pharmacies that serve them from corporate middlemen known as PBMs. Despite their claims to the contrary, PBMs drive up prescription drug costs, restrict consumers’ choice of pharmacy [and] use gimmicks to delay payments to pharmacies,” NACDS stated in its letter.

“The PBMs’ anti-competitive and abusive practices are key components of skyrocketing healthcare costs … such as switching patients to more expensive drugs in order to reap huge ‘rebates’ from drug makers. PBMs favor brand-name drugs over generics for the same reason; in fact, PBM mail-order pharmacies dispense cost-saving generics much less often than neighborhood pharmacies.”

NACDS thanked both lawmakers for their commitment to pharmacy choice and access, stating, “This is important legislation that will help many people both in your state [and] across America. Pharmacies and their patients have been pushed around by the PBMs for far too long, and this bill is long overdue.”

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Rite Aid offers diabetes consultations, MTM with Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Customers with diabetes at Rite Aid locations in New York and Washington will have access to patient education and support from trained pharmacists to help them better control their disease, the retail pharmacy chain said.

Rite Aid announced Wednesday that it had joined the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, an initiative created by UnitedHealth Group to fight the diabetes, prediabetes and obesity epidemics. The program is available at some Rite Aid stores in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx in New York and will be available at stores in Washington in mid-October. Pharmacists will consult quarterly with enrolled patients to evaluate their medication adherence and review their test results for blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.

"Diabetes is taking a staggering toll on the health of our country," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. "By participating in the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, Rite Aid is able to offer participating patients the benefit of one-on-one counseling from a Rite Aid pharmacists specifically trained in diabetes care and medication therapy management. This type of care has been proven to better manage diabetes and improve overall health, lowering healthcare costs in the long run."

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Jan-22-2013 05:58 am

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Military pharmacist appointed to APhA

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association has appointed Stacia Spridgen as director of its federal pharmacy program, the group said Wednesday.

The APhA said Spridgen, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, would be responsible for all aspects of the APhA’s federal pharmacy programs, including coordination of the annual Federal Forum and oversight management of the Department of Defense Joint Forces Pharmacy Seminar, fostering a collaborative alliance between the APhA and the federal pharmacy sector and developing relationships in the pharmaceutical industry.

Spridgen most recently served as director of the Department of Defense Pharmacoeconomic Center at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, promoting cost-effective drug therapy throughout the Military Health System. Previously, she worked as executive officer for the Office of the Surgeon General and in other healthcare-related positions in the military.

"Stacia’s background in military and federal pharmacy programs is extensive and will be a great addition to the APhA federal pharmacy program," APhA EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan said. "Her years of service and experience with developing pharmacy programs, running clinics [and] advocating for policy that will help pharmacists produce high-quality services will build upon APhA’s long-standing programs."

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