NCPA to CMS: Medicaid reimbursements should adhere to healthcare-reform law provisions
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to follow guidance that Congress included in the healthcare-reform law in its implementation of a new Medicaid generic drug reimbursement formula based on average manufacturer price, the organization said Tuesday.
CMS recently withdrew provisions that would have dramatically cut Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement to community pharmacies from a previously proposed AMP rule due to an injunction that the NCPA obtained in 2007.
In a letter to Congress, the NCPA recommended giving manufacturers more direction in calculating their AMPs, such as requiring them to only include prices paid by wholesalers for drugs subsequently sold at pharmacies; recognizing the ill effect that the NCPA said curtailed generic drug reimbursements would have on retail pharmacies; and setting up a process by which revised federal upper limits resulting from the revised AMP data will be implemented in order to minimize disruption for patients and pharmacies.
“In many ways, independent community pharmacies are the backbone of Medicaid’s prescription drug benefit,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Pharmacies will become an even more important source of health care-related services for Medicaid beneficiaries as new healthcare reform provisions are implemented.”
Study confirms safety, efficacy of OraMoist
EUGENE, Ore. Quantum Health’s OraMoist, a time-released mucoadhesive patch that moistens and lubricates the mouth, was featured in the October 2010 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association as part of a study that affirmed safety and efficacy of the over-the-counter product in relieving dry mouth.
The mucoadhesive patches tested in the study are available to consumers under the brand name OraMoist and are sold over-the-counter at such retailers as Rite Aid and Walgreens. Approximately 1 cm in diameter, the patches can adhere to any oral mucosal surface, such as the roof of the mouth or inside the cheek. The study confirmed the oral patch can yield a “statistically significant improvement in baseline subjective and objective measures of dry mouth for up to 60 minutes — and possibly longer — after application.”
“One of the results was that after two weeks of use of the patch, the amount of saliva in the mouth had increased even during times when there was no patch in the mouth,” stated the study’s lead author Ross Kerr, clinical associate professor at New York University College of Dentistry. “In other words, the patch would seem to have a cumulative beneficial effect.”
Chronic dry mouth is an under-diagnosed condition that can have a detrimental effect on oral health by contributing to tooth decay, gum disease and chronic bad breath, Quantum stated. The condition most often is a side effect of many prescription and OTC medications — 34% of people on three or more medications likely will have this condition. Dry mouth also can be a symptom of other medical conditions, such as diabetes or Sjogren’s syndrome, or can be the result of radiation treatment for head and neck cancer.
AccuDial presents possible solution to overdosage of OTC medication
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. Parents’ confusion over correctly administering over-the-counter medication to their children appears to be shared worldwide, according to a new study presented this week in Lisbon, Portugal, by Rebekah Moles from the University of Sydney.
“We conducted our study over a five-month period, with seven fathers, 53 mothers and 37 day care workers, involving fictitious scenarios regarding children with fever-and-cold symptoms, and asked how they would handle administering medication,” Moles said. Of the 97 caregivers tested, 61% got the dosage wrong.
Almost half (44%) of the caregivers failed to quantify the right quantity and did not give enough medication, while 17% administered an overdose. “Only 14% managed the scenario properly,” Moles said.
In North America, the statistics on overdosing children with OTC medications are similar. According to a report published by the American Medical Association, children between the ages of 2 and 12 years inaccurately are dosed up to 73% of the time, increasing emergency room visits in two-thirds of the cases.
Recently, the daytime television show "The Doctors" featured a segment on weight-based dosing with a new pediatric, weight-based labeling product being brought to market by AccuDial Pharmaceutical. “Studies show that children are given inaccurate doses of over-the-counter medication [more than] 50% of the time,” noted Jim Sears, the show’s host. “As pediatricians, we always dose by weight. Children’s AccuDial’s weight-based label gives specific doses by weight … and it comes with its own dosing spoon, so it’s accurate.”
AccuDial’s products were approved by Health Canada 18 months ago, and presently are under consideration for approval by the Food and Drug Administration.