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Pennsylvania legislation would ban mandatory mail order

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — Bills proposed in Pennsylvania’s state legislature would allow patients to have their prescriptions filled through mail-order and at community pharmacies for the same price.

House Bill 511 and Senate Bill 211, which promoters said are designed to give a "booster shot" to local pharmacies and save jobs, are the latest episode in what appears to be a growing battle between pharmacy benefit managers and retail pharmacies.

The bills would amend a state insurance law to prevent payers and PBMs from requiring patients to use mail-order. In addition, it would forbid payers and PBMs from imposing extra charges or other special requirements if they don’t obtain their drugs through mail-order or limits on the drugs they can obtain through retail pharmacies.

The bill’s restriction on requiring patients to use mail-order is similar to legislation in New York that has passed both houses of the state legislature and is awaiting a signature or veto from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile, the proposed merger between PBM giants Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions has met vigorous opposition from retail and specialty pharmacy groups.

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L.KAGEL says:
Sep-09-2011 11:27 am

I believe this is an excellent idea. There is no reason for consumers to have to use mail order. Why should community pharmacy be put at risk. it is all about choice and that is what America stands for. I look forward to seeing my local pharmacist for advice and answering questions. That voice on the phone from someone who I have no idea who they are will not be missed. Finally some government agency looking out for the consumer

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Former Del Monte CEO joins Schiff Nutrition’s board

BY Allison Cerra

SALT LAKE CITY — Richard Wolford has joined the board of directors at Schiff Nutrition.

Wolford most recently served as chairman, president and CEO of Del Monte Foods. Additionally, he served as chairman of the board of the Grocery Manufacturers Association from 2010 until 2011.

“The board and I have set important goals to drive shareholder value,” Schiff Nutrition president and CEO Tarang Amin said. “We look forward to Rick’s insight as we focus on our long-term growth strategies.”

Added Schiff Nutrition chairman Eric Weider, “Rick brings significant experience to our team. While at Del Monte Foods, he led efforts to develop and purchase strong and growing brand equities. The company grew from a $1 billion consumer foods business into one of the country’s largest and most well-known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded food and pet products with close to $4 billion in revenue.”

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Lilly expands multimedia efforts with YouTube channel

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS — A few months after launching its multichannel platform to inform and educate patients about healthy eating, physical activity and stress management, drug maker Eli Lilly has debuted a new YouTube channel.

The Lilly Health Channel features videos on health and wellness, employee and community outreach efforts, health innovation, Lilly programs and other nonproduct-branded initiatives. Some of the issues spotlighted in the videos include the growing rate of diabetes in the United States, Lilly’s Connecting Hearts Abroad global service program and more.

"Every day, we make an impact on the lives of patients through our medicines, but there are also many other ways we are connecting with patients through programs, education and outreach," said Jack Harris, Lilly’s VP U.S. medical division. "The Lilly Health Channel enables us to tell those stories through video in a way that reaches and engages patients like we never have before."

The Lilly Health Channel also will direct visitors to:

  • Lilly for Better Health, a program that educates and inspires individuals, families and communities to live healthier, more active lives;

  • LillyPad, the drug maker’s official blog, which enables a dialogue with the public on matters important to Lilly and those following the biopharmaceutical industry; and

  • Health Education Answers, an online health education program designed to help improve patient care through education outreach.

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