PHARMACY

NCPA survey: Accreditation requirements hinders pharmacists from offering DME equipment

BY Drug Store News Team

NEW YORK Almost one-third of those community pharmacists who already offered DMEPOS services responded that they would cease delivering Medicare services if Congress doesn’t act soon.

 

That should be a wake-up call for Congress.

 

 

The reality is the number of community pharmacies that would no longer supply products like diabetes test strips to their Medicare patients is a lot closer to 90% of all community pharmacies, or approximately 20,000 pharmacies, more or less, given that only one in 10 are currently accredited under Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines, the fact that the accreditation deadline is only five months away and it takes on average more than six months to become accredited.

 

 

To be sure, the survey is a sample of about 1,000 self-reporting pharmacists and there may be a good number of community pharmacists currently pursuing accreditation not included in the 10%, but the bare fact remains that the vast majority of community pharmacies aren’t accredited and will decline to become accredited come Oct. 1.

 

 

What does it all mean? To quote Bruce Roberts, NCPA EVP & CEO, it means “the current policy could prevent patients, especially in underserved areas [such as rural communities], from accessing medical supplies that help navigate health challenges such as controlling diabetes.”

 

 

Approximately 17.9% of all Medicare households are located in rural communities, according to a Kaiser Foundation report released in February, which means that almost one in five of all Medicare recipients may have greater difficulty accessing their testing supplies.

 

 

And that should be a bigger wake-up call for Congress, as well as their Medicare-eligible constituents.

 

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J&J: Agreements with Schering-Plough void after Merck merger

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. The planned merger between Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck & Co. would permit the termination of agreements between Schering-Plough and Johnson & Johnson’s biotech division, J&J asserted in an arbitration demand filed Wednesday with the American Arbitration Association, an alternative dispute resolution organization.

The drug maker said the planned merger constituted a change of control that would allow the termination between agreements its Centocor Ortho Biotech division made with Schering-Plough regarding the inflammatory and immunological disease drugs Remicade (infliximab) and Simponi (golimumab).

“As its public statements have made clear, Merck is acquiring Schering-Plough,” J&J said in a statement. “The acquisition constitutes a change of control that tribbers the right of our Centocor Ortho Biotech subsidiary to terminate the agreements.”

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FDA accepts approval application from Warner Chilcott

BY Alaric DeArment

ARDEE, Ireland The Food and Drug Administration has accepted an approval application for a low-dose oral contraceptive from Warner Chilcott, the drug maker announced Wednesday.

The agency accepted Warner Chilcott’s new drug application for WC 3016, submitted through a subsidiary on March 26.

The company recently relocated its headquarters from Bermuda to Ireland.

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