PHARMACY

Most U.S. voters believe an expanded role for nurse practitioners will boost quality of health care

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Many U.S. voters are in favor of expanding the use of nurse practitioners for routine medical care, and most believe that the quality of health care would improve if routine care was handled by nurse practitioners and doctors were able to focus more on challenging healthcare issues, according to the findings of a recent survey.

According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 1,000 adults, 67% of likely U.S. voters favored training and licensing nurse practitioners to expand the level of routine care they provide.

In addition, 77% of respondents said they would be at least somewhat comfortable visiting a trained and licensed nurse practitioner for routine medical care, with 45% saying they would be very comfortable.

The survey also found that more than half (52%) of respondents believed that the quality of health care would improve if routine medical care was handled by nurse practitioners and doctors were able to focus more on challenging healthcare issues. Nearly half (43%) of voters thought the cost of health care would decrease if nurse practitioners were trained and licensed to provide routine medical care.

The survey also revealed that those who earn more than $75,000 were slightly less confident than those who earn less that the quality of health care could improve with the use of more nurse practitioners, thus freeing up doctors for more challenging cases.

Democrats and voters not affiliated with either party were more confident than Republicans that quality would improve. Democrats also believed more strongly than Republicans and unaffiliateds that the greater use of nurse practitioners would decrease the cost of health care.

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FDA OKs storage option for Kogenate FS

BY Alaric DeArment

WAYNE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new storage option for a hemophilia A treatment made by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said.

Bayer announced that Kogenate FS (antihemophilic factor [recombinant]) now can be stored at room temperature, up to 77 degrees, for up to one year. Previously, it could be stored at room temperature for three months, and most Factor VIII products must be stored in a refrigerator.

Bayer said the new storage option would give patients more flexibility for storing their medication while freeing up space in the refrigerator and eliminating the need for a separate “factor fridge.”

“As convenience with medication is important to people with hemophilia A, we’re pleased to offer a new storage temperature option, which complements other convenience factors, including Grab and Go packaging with Bio-Set, a compact and complete reconstitution system for Kogenate FS,” Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals VP and general manager for hematology Paul Bedard said. “This new option demonstrates Bayer’s ongoing commitment to the hemophilia A community.”

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PCMA: Mail-service pharmacies drive generic utilization

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — An organization representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers said that mail-service pharmacies are increasing the use of generic medications.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association issued a statement on Tuesday claiming that mail-service pharmacies leverage generic opportunities for savings, adding that there is no marked difference in the generic dispensing rate between mail-service pharmacy and retail pharmacy.

"The Federal Trade Commission and Harvard University both found that mail-service pharmacies practice generic substitution — substituting equivalent generics for brands whenever possible — more frequently than retail pharmacies," PCMA said. "Generic prescriptions are also less costly when obtained through mail-service pharmacies, according to research from the FTC and the Government Accountability Office."

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