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NCPA offers Senate tips for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste, abuse

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association is recommending several ways for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste and abuse to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee, the group said Tuesday.

"NCPA and its members remain committed to combating waste, fraud and abuse within federal health care programs, and stand at the ready to assist with these efforts," comments submitted by the group read. "It is important for Congress to also focus on the existing waste within and potential savings from how pharmacy benefit managers operate in the Medicare Part D program. In the end, NCPA seeks to partner with the federal government in the right way to generate healthcare savings, while providing high quality health care to our patients."

Recommendations included: ensuring that requirements to use National Provider Identifier numbers on Part D claims provide for an adequate transition to avoid inadvertently penalizing pharmacies acting in good faith to serve patients; ensuring the government receives billions of dollars in manufacturer rebate savings currently retained by PBMs; promoting the appropriate use of generic prescription drugs; and requiring Part D plans to implement consistent pharmacy audit practices to strengthen fraud protections and focus on true fraud.


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Report: Lupin stands to benefit from drug patent expiries

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A wave of patent expirations over the next several years will open up a broad swath of drugs to generic competition, and India’s Lupin Pharmaceuticals is looking to benefit, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Mumbai-based company planned to launch 25 to 30 new generic drugs each year over the next couple of years.

These include contraceptives, as well as antipsychotics and diabetes drugs, according to the article. In September alone, the company received Food and Drug Administration approval for generic versions of Watson’s contraceptive NOR-QD (norethindrone) tablets and launched versions of UCB’s epilepsy drug Keppra (levetiracetam) and Shionogi’s painkiller Ponstel (mefenamic acid).


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Teva, The Medicines Co. settle suit over blood-thinning drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Medicines Co. and generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries have reached a settlement that will allow Teva to start selling a generic version of one of MDCO’s drugs by the end of the decade.

The drug makers announced the settlement in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, whereby Teva can launch a generic version of the injectable anticoagulant drug Angiomax (bivalirudin) in June 2019.

Under the settlement, Teva admits that two patents covering Angiomax are valid, enforceable and would be infringed by Teva’s generic version. The patents are scheduled to expire in July 2028, according to the Food and Drug Administration. MDCO remains in infringement litigation concerning the drug with generic drug makers APP Pharmaceuticals, Hospira, Mylan and Dr. Reddy’s Labs.


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