PHARMACY

Reports: Mich. governor signs bill allowing medical marijuana at pharmacies, conditional on federal approval

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan has signed into law a bill that will allow medical marijuana to be sold in pharmacies if the federal government legalizes it for that purpose, according to published reports.

As 2013 drew to an end, both houses of Michigan’s state legislature passed a bill that would allow pharmacies to sell medical marijuana, but only if the federal government allows it. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it is an illegal drug with no officially recognized medical purpose. Nevertheless, 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing it for medical purposes, while Colorado and Washington have legalized it for recreational use as well.

Legalization of the federal level would address the precarious legal limbo in which legal medical marijuana dispensaries dwell. A New York Times report published Saturday examined one major issue that dispensaries face, which is how to handle money. The dispensaries are forced to store their money in cash on the premises and also do all their business in cash, as banks — even state-chartered ones — generally refuse to give them accounts for fear of being accused by the federal government of money laundering, thus making it difficult for the dispensaries to accept credit cards.

 

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Reports: N.Y. governor issues executive order allowing medical marijuana

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — New York state has begun to legalize medical use of marijuana, albeit in limited form, according to published reports.

Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia allow the dispensing of marijuana for medical use, two of which — Colorado and Washington — have legalized recreational use, while Maryland allows medical use as a legal defense in criminal cases.

The New York provision, an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would allow prescribing of medical marijuana at up to 20 hospitals in the state, making its scope far more limited than in other states, where medical marijuana is allowed under statutory law and is usually sold in special dispensaries, according to reports. The New York Times reported that Cuomo would use the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, which allows such medical conditions as cancer and glaucoma to be treated using controlled substances.

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Surescripts has added nearly two-dozen EHR vendors to network in the past year, company says

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — Electronic prescribing services provider Surescripts has added nearly two-dozen electronic health record vendors to its network over the last year, the company said Monday.

The software vendors include Adaptamed, AssistRx, Bizmatics, ChartLogic, HealthFusion, Merge Healthcare, SuccessEHS and others.

"As a trusted partner to many of these EHR vendors, we continue to make significant progress toward breaking down costly communication barriers among care providers," Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis said. Totonis said Thursday that he would step down in March, after five years at the helm of the company. "The Surescripts network provides connected eHRs and their rapidly growing contracted base the scale they need to connect care providers within a community and across the country."

The company said its clinical messaging allows patient-specific protected health information to be instantaneously and securely transmitted between healthcare providers, leading to increased efficiency, informed care decisions, better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs, and users will be able to easily connect to the network to enable clinical messaging part of their efforts to meet industry EHR standards.

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