Navigating PBM legislation
Antitrust attorney and pharmacy benefit management legal expert David Balto on Friday monitored a mini-summit helping supermarket pharmacy better navigate the PBM universe. And Balto updated attendees on the legislative landscape — three current bills pending in Congress; 29 states now regulate PBM activity; and 19 states have PBM legislation pending.
Nutrition information critical to health care
There is a need for good nutrition information that can be easily integrated into an overarching healthcare offering, noted Christopher Taylor, an associate professor of medical dietetics and family medicine at Ohio State University, during an FMI education breakout session Thursday.
“Lifestyle is playing a role in influencing an individual’s health,” Taylor said. And consumers are looking to the food industry “to provide the information and help facilitate the lifestyle changes … they’re making.”
With the implementation of more outcomes-based medicine on the horizon, Taylor outlined an Ohio University pilot utilizing eHealth technologies to relay registered dietician consultations at retail back to that patient’s primary care center.
Regulations rank as top priority
Issues surrounding regulations, including product-label requirements, ranked third as a 2013 priority among board members of FMI, according to a poll taken in January, noted Patty Packard, director of nutrition and regulatory for Vestcom International, during an education breakout session Thursday.
Only food safety (87%) and upcoming changes to healthcare regulations (79%) were identified as higher priority issues.
Packard outlined many of the health claims food manufacturers and retailers can or cannot make for their products. “If you’re going to use any term regarding ‘healthy,’” she said, “then [the claim] has to meet the FDA definition of healthy.”