NCPA reaches out to Senate Republicans regarding AHCA
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday urged Senate Republicans to keep a number of important prescription drug-related provisions as they consider House passage of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act.
“Prescription drug coverage is an essential health benefit,” stated Douglas Hoey, CEO NCPA. “Any meaningful drug coverage should include patient choice of pharmacy and access to face-to-face counseling with a community pharmacist they know and trust.”
In a letter to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and a 12-member working group of Republican Senators, NCPA asserts that pharmacist-provided prescription drug therapy is “incredibly cost effective” in helping improve medication adherence by patients, which in turn “improves health outcomes and reduces much more expensive interventions, such as emergency room treatment.”
The letter cites research showing that up to $290 billion in annual health care expenses result from the lack of medication adherence, and that a leading predictor of adherence is a patient’s proximity to and relationship with a pharmacist. “Patients must be able to choose a pharmacy that best meets their individual health needs,” Hoey wrote.
NCPA also made the following recommendations in its letter:
- Support patient access to medication and ensure reasonable pharmacy reimbursement that includes both a community pharmacy’s medication acquisition and dispensing costs in any Medicaid reforms;
- Expand patient access to community pharmacists to help manage chronic conditions;
- Assure greater oversight of and transparency from PBMs in federal health care programs; and
- Maintain regulatory relief for small business community pharmacies with exemptions from onerous and redundant accreditation standards.
iMedicare rolls out embedded Star Ratings platform
NEW YORK — iMedicare’s latest launch is looking to make it easier for pharmacists to integrate Star Ratings management into their workflow. The company on Thursday launched a new platform that allows them to monitor Star Ratings and tend to actions without a separate dashboard.
“Pharmacies do not have the time to log into several dashboards daily and check every patient’s adherence, or statin use, or MTM cases. Moreover, each insurance plan calculates star ratings differently,” iMedicare CEO Flaviu Simihaian said. “We use machine learning and augmented reality to give our member pharmacies an edge without any interruption in their workflow.”
The new platform also is able to identify patients that increase a pharmacy’s direct and indirect remuneration fees and triggers an action. The platform uses machine learning to detect a patient’s current plan, subsidy and DIR fee impact, the company said.
Hy-Vee makes prescription-free naloxone available in 4 states
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee on Wednesday announced that its patients can get naloxone prescription-free in four of the eight states it has pharmacies in. Hy-Vee pharmacy locations in Iowa, Mo., S.D. and Wis. Will be dispensing the opioid overdose reversal drug.
“We know the availability of this medication has the potential to save lives,” Hy-Vee SVP and chief health officer Kristin Williams said. “It’s vital that we do everything we can to assist those with a loved one who may encounter an opioid overdose by combining medications or by accidentally taking too much of a medication, being unaware of the life-threatening result.”
The drug will be available both a nasal spray and an injection by request. Pharmacists will work to ensure patients and family members know how to spot the signs of an opioid overdose and how to properly administer naloxone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2015.
Hy-Vee said that dispensing in S.D. and Mo. is possible through a physician-signed protocol with a designated pharmacy chain. In Iowa and Wis., the Iowa Board of Pharmacy and Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining board have put in place administrative rules outlining procedures and training requirements for participating pharmacies.