NCPA to OPM: Mandate PBM transparency
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday issued a number of recommendations to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which is responsible for contracting with at least two multistate plans that will offer coverage through exchanges that come online in 2014, and that will provide consumers with additional health insurance options.
Included in those recommendations were a call to include transparency requirements for pharmacy benefit managers and a call for the inclusion of "any willing pharmacies" in any multistate exchange plan.
“Successful healthcare reform places a premium on transparency, and nowhere is that needed more than in the administration of prescription drug services by the PBM industry,” NCPA EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “The federal health-reform law includes just such a provision in the state healthcare exchanges. These disclosure requirements allow health plan sponsors to actually ensure PBM promises of efficiency and savings are occurring. It also will help prevent the $371 million in legal settlements that have been paid out by PBMs to address allegations of questionable practices.”
Hoey added, “This approach should be extended to all health plans, and other PBM reform bills such as The Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act (S. 1058/H.R. 1971) and The Preserving Our Hometown Independent Pharmacies Act (H.R. 1946) should also be enacted.”
Enacting these "common-sense solutions" will independent community pharmacists to play a greater role in reducing costs and improving outcomes, Hoey added.
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New Web venture aims to bring convenience, affordability to razor market
LOS ANGELES — A new e-commerce venture is aiming to revamp the razor market and save consumers money by offering a monthly subscription program whereby subscribers can receive — for about $1 a month — razor cartridges and a compatible stick, right to their door.
The new Dollar Shave Club is the first of its kind, offering subscribers five of its original "Ninja" razor cartridges, and the compatible stick, shipped to their door. Through the site, located at DollarShaveClub.com, consumers can select the blade, choose their plan and checkout. Plan options include two-year ($24), one-year ($18), six-month ($10.74) or pay-as-you-go ($1.99).
"We started the company because we were tired of spending $20 a month on razor blades," said Michael Dubin, founder of the Dollar Shave Club. "Razor cartridges have gotten so complicated. Who needs their razor to light up, vibrate or squirt shaving cream? We just need a good shave and, mostly, we need to remember to buy blades."
The Ninja Blade features stainless steel twin blades, an aloe vera lubricating strip and a pivot head, and is compatible with all Gillette Sensor Sticks.
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FDA approves Hospira cancer drug
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic chemotherapy drug made by Hospira, the drug maker said.
Hospira announced the approval of gemcitabine injection in the 200-mg, 1-g and 2-g formulations and plans to launch the drug in September. The drug is a generic version of Eli Lilly’s Gemzar.
Various versions of the drug had sales of $750 million in 2010, according to Hospira.
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