PHARMACY

PCMA: Sebelius should continue push for cost cuts among state Medicaid programs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — A group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers said Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius should continue encouraging state Medicaid programs to explore affordable pharmacy solutions despite opposition from the independent drug store lobby.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association said the current "old-school, fee-for-service" approach used by state Medicaid programs "exposes state governments to political pressure from the independent drug store lobby to set artificially high payment levels," arguing that the focus is on profits instead of patients.

“Medicaid can no longer afford to spend more on pharmacy benefits than Medicare and commercial payers. States should have the flexibility to use the tools other programs use to reduce costs,” said PCMA president and CEO Mark Merritt. “State Medicaid programs can no longer afford to pay pharmacies double or triple what other programs pay.”

The statement from the PCMA followed a document released last week by Sebelius, who urged all 50 state governors to find ways to cut costs through various approaches.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

PHARMACY

Upsher-Smith launches new Nexa vitamin

BY Allison Cerra

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith has amplified its Nexa prenatal vitamin line with the launch of Nexa Select Rx.

The company said the Nexa Select Rx prenatal vitamin, which comes in gel capsules, is an advanced formulation that contains 325-mg of plant-based docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. The company noted that Nexa Select Rx contains more DHA in each capsule than any other single-gel capsule, prescription prenatal vitamin taken once a day. DHA supports a baby’s prenatal and postnatal brain and visual development, Upsher-Smith said. Nexa Select Rx also contains 800 IU of vitamin D3, as well as 1.25 mg of folic acid and 29 mg of iron. In addition, each capsule also contains other essential vitamins and minerals that are important for the overall health and well-being of mother and baby, including calcium and vitamins B6 and C — as well as the gentle stool softener docusate sodium for added comfort.

"There is no more important time to eat a nutritious diet than during pregnancy. Even the most conscientious mothers-to-be can benefit from the added nutritional support that prenatal vitamins provide," said Wesley Mark Todd, senior director of medical affairs at Upsher-Smith. "While Nexa Select includes numerous vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy, the folic acid and plant-based DHA in a single capsule are especially appealing to many moms-to-be."

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

PHARMACY

Vascugel granted fast-track designation by FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Food and Drug Administration has given expedited review to a drug for preventing hemodialysis failure in patients with end-stage kidney disease.

The FDA granted fast-track review status to the cell-based therapy Vascugel, made by Pervasis Therapeutics. The FDA grants the status to accelerate review of treatments for serious and life-threatening conditions, particularly those that address serious, unmet medical conditions.

Hemodialysis is used to filter the blood in patients with end-stage kidney disease, but patients can experience complications that cause clotting of the vascular access points used in hemodialysis that renders them unusuable, also known as hemodialysis access failure. Vascugel is designed to prevent this clotting.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES