NACDS supports anticounterfeiting legislation
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — New legislation proposed in the Senate would strengthen penalties against people who traffic in counterfeit medications.
Introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., S. 1886, the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011, would harshen laws against producing, buying or selling counterfeit drugs. The bill has received support from the chain retail pharmacy lobby.
"[The National Association of Chain Drug Stores] and the chain pharmacy industry applaud your leadership in taking steps to protect American consumers by advocating for stricter sentences for criminals in the counterfeit medicine business," a letter the organization sent to Sen. Leahy read. "Presently, the federal penalty for a counterfeiting crime is typically three years. We believe that stronger deterrents, as provided in your legislation, are more appropriate for these potentially deadly crimes involving counterfeit medicine."
GPhA appoints new executive
WASHINGTON — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has appointed a new executive who will help guide the organization’s newly created research and education institute.
The organization announced Thursday the appointment of Ahaviah Glaser as VP policy and strategic alliances. Glaser previously was a member of AARP’s government affairs team.
"Through GPhA and the newly created Affordable Medicines Research Institute, Havi will help educate both the public at large and policy makers around the world about the safety and efficacy of generic medicines, as well as the extraordinary healthcare savings that generics provide," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said.
"In a time when budget challenges and healthcare costs are colliding as never before, not only for governments but for families, Havi’s job will be to help shepherd research, education and outreach efforts to ensure that all Americans fully understand that generic pharmaceuticals reduce healthcare costs while maintaining the high-quality standard of care that they rightly expect," Neas added.
Walgreens: More than 250K Tricare beneficiaries lobby to keep Walgreens in network
WASHINGTON — More than 250,000 U.S. military personnel, family members, retirees and others in the Department of Defense Tricare pharmacy benefits program, and their supporters, so far have signed petitions demanding access to Walgreens pharmacies under the Tricare pharmacy program, Walgreens reported Thursday.
The pace of petition signatures from Tricare members seeking to retain access to Walgreens and their supporters has reached more than 10,000 per week in recent weeks, the pharmacy operator added.
“The last thing military personnel, families and retirees need is for their pharmacy benefits and choices to be disrupted by this issue,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness solutions and services. “Walgreens’ proposals to protect Tricare members remain on the table. There is no reason the parties cannot act quickly — before the Dec. 31 deadline — to protect Tricare members from disruption. And Walgreens is prepared to do so.”
Walgreens reiterated its offer to negotiate the Tricare renewal separately from Express Scripts’ commercial business, to lower Tricare reimbursement rates across the board and to provide an ironclad guarantee that Walgreens’ prices would match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other retail pharmacies in the Tricare network.
Walgreens also pledged that the company will work with Tricare beneficiaries in an effort to make any transition after Dec. 31 as seamless as possible if no agreement with Express Scripts comes to fruition.