PHARMACY

NACDS: Retail pharmacy can play a key role in 21st Century Cures Initiative

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

ARLINGTON, Va. — Leading up to Thursday’s congressional hearing on the 21st Century Cures draft legislation introduced this week, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted comments in support of this initiative to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery process of lifesaving new drug treatments for patients.  The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce conducted a hearing on the bill Thursday.  
 
“As the face of neighborhood healthcare, retail pharmacies can play an important role in the delivery of new lifesaving drug treatments that result from the 21st Century Cures Initiative,” NACDS stated in its comments to the committee.

Launched in 2014 by U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and committee member Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., the 21st Century Cures Initiative focuses on the future of healthcare delivery, including modernized clinical trials; integrating the patient perspective in the regulatory process; better sharing of information; investing in the future of science and incentivizing new drugs and devices. NACDS expressed support for the 21st Century Cures Initiative following last year’s launch as well.

“Within the context of the 21st Century Cures Initiative, community pharmacy’s value is amplified through the growing efforts of the industry to provide health education and disease state testing and management,” NACDS stated in its comments to the committee.  “Through personal interactions with patients and face-to-face consultations, pharmacies are helping to shape the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow, in partnership with doctors, nurses and others.”

NACDS also urged the committee to take a deliberative and thoughtful approach to implementing policies restricting access to prescription medications.

“While we share the legislation’s goal of combating prescription drug abuse and diversion, we also believe that any potential programs must ensure legitimate beneficiary access to needed medications is not impeded. Protections should be in place to allow a pharmacy, in consultation with the prescriber, to fill legitimate prescriptions without needlessly delaying treatment for beneficiaries,” NACDS stated. “We look forward to working with the Subcommittee in developing policy and legislative ideas to ensure the success of the 21st Century Cures Initiative,” NACDS concluded in its comments.
 

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Camber launches generic Famvir

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Camber Pharmaceuticals on Friday announced the launch of famciclovir tablets in 125-, 250- and 500-mg dosage strengths. The drug is the generic version for Famvir from Novartis.

According to Camber, the drug is used to treat herpes virus infection, including shingles, cold sores and genital herpes. Famciclovir is available in 30-count bottles.
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COPD adherence measures being tested by PQA

BY Michael Johnsen

SPRINGFIELD, Va. – As part of its commitment to improving the quality of medication management and use across health care settings,the Pharmacy Quality Alliance announced Wednesday it is collaborating with UnitedHealthcare and Highmark to test a new adherence measure.
 
PQA is testing a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease measure, which examines adherence to long-acting, inhaled bronchodilator medications in patients with COPD. With an estimated nearly 15 million individuals in the U.S. with a diagnosis of COPD, and possibly another 12 million undiagnosed patients, this chronic disease must be appropriately diagnosed and treated. 
 
"Testing is a key step in the measure development process, and having several testing partners allows PQA the opportunity to identify how the draft measure performs across different health plans. This is an important step in our measure validation process," stated Julie Kuhle, PQA VP measure operations.
 
Michael Anderson, chief pharmacy officer for UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, said, "We are pleased to participate in developing medication management measures that have a positive impact on the lives of people with COPD and other chronic conditions. Helping people live healthier lives is our commitment – and collaborating with PQA is another important step in fulfilling that commitment."
 
 
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