PHARMACY

NACDS expands state team with hiring of advocacy expert Leigh Knotts

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Monday announced that state health policy professional Leigh Knotts will serve as director of state government affairs, responsible for advocacy in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Knotts will join NACDS’ state team, for a total of six state directors, all of whom report to Sandra Guckian, NACDS VP state government affairs.

NACDS stated that Knotts’ background as a state government affairs advocate will further strengthen its advocacy for community pharmacy and the promotion of community pharmacies’ role in improving patient health and reducing healthcare costs.  She will work to advance NACDS state priorities with NACDS members and state partners in support of pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies.
 
The expansion and enhanced role of NACDS’ state government affairs team represents the increased emphasis on community-pharmacy provided services at the state level. Pharmacists in every state can administer the influenza vaccine, with many states increasing neighborhood pharmacists’ authority to other offer immunizations, including tetanus, hepatitis and shingles. NACDS state priorities include addressing pharmacy benefit manager issues and demonstrating the importance of fair and adequate Medicaid reimbursement, NACDS said.
 
“We are thrilled to welcome Leigh to NACDS. The NACDS membership expects the association to place a high priority on state government affairs issues, and the caliber and capacity of the newly enhanced team shows that NACDS is executing aggressively in this vital area,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson saod. “Along with maintaining a proactive footing at the federal level, NACDS is 100% committed to working with state associations and policy-makers to unleash the unsurpassed value of neighborhood pharmacies for the benefit of patient care.”
 
Knotts most recently worked in government relations at Berry, Quackenbush & Stuart, PA, and held multiple positions in the real estate industry.

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PHARMACY

FDA OKs Levemir for pregnant women

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A diabetes treatment made by Novo Nordisk is safe for pregnant women, according to a recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration.

Novo Nordisk said Monday the FDA had approved Levemir (insulin detemir [rDNA origin]) for a pregnancy category B classification, meaning that when used by pregnant women, the insulin did not increase the risk of harm to fetuses. The agency’s decision was based on results of a clinical trial involving 310 women that compared Levemir to another insulin product.

The insulin is used to treat Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.


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Htaylor1 says:
Sep-05-2012 05:47 am

Was the trial done on pregnant women as well? Wouldn't that pose a considerable risk to the mother and child? For an untested drug that could potentially harm the fetus, were the mothers involved in the trial aware of the risks?

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PHARMACY

NACDS, NCPA renew merger opposition with new court filing seeking immediate relief

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday afternoon announced their intent to file an additional motion requesting that the judge direct Express Scripts and Medco to keep separate their assets pending review of the lawsuit and/or schedule an expedited review of the merits of a case the two associations filed in district court last week.

“We continue to believe that the compelling arguments and evidence brought to the [Federal Trade Commission] by NACDS, NCPA, consumer groups and others warrant blocking this merger," both NACDS and NCPA released in a joint statement. "That the agency is allowing the merger to proceed, and without any conditions, leaves patients and pharmacies vulnerable to significant harm from a combined ESI-Medco. Furthermore, we are disappointed that the agency based some of its views of the PBM-pharmacy marketplace on old, inaccurate data, despite NACDS and NCPA providing evidence to the contrary."

NACDS and NCPA, along with nine community pharmacy complainants, last week filed a suit challenging the then-proposed Express Scripts/Medco merger in anticipation of an imminent approval. Both Express Scripts and Medco were served summonses regarding that suit earlier Monday morning, according to court documents.

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