AstraZeneca provides Rx savings to Sacramento, Calif., pharmacy patients
WILMINGTON, Del. AstraZeneca will provide medications free of charge to qualifying patients in Sacramento, Calif., through its prescription savings program, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker said Wednesday.
AstraZeneca said the Primary Care Center Pharmacy was the ninth organization to join the AZ&Me savings program. The pharmacy provides pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to nearly all departments within Sacramento County, dispensing around 1,200 prescriptions per day. Its free drug programs have grown over the last eight years from one to 16 programs with an annual savings of more than $4.4 million, benefiting around 25,000 uninsured patients.
“The partnership with Sacramento County will help patients who might otherwise go without the medicines they need,” AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals director of patient assistance programs Jennifer McGovern said.
Study confirms safety, efficacy of OraMoist
EUGENE, Ore. Quantum Health’s OraMoist, a time-released mucoadhesive patch that moistens and lubricates the mouth, was featured in the October 2010 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association as part of a study that affirmed safety and efficacy of the over-the-counter product in relieving dry mouth.
The mucoadhesive patches tested in the study are available to consumers under the brand name OraMoist and are sold over-the-counter at such retailers as Rite Aid and Walgreens. Approximately 1 cm in diameter, the patches can adhere to any oral mucosal surface, such as the roof of the mouth or inside the cheek. The study confirmed the oral patch can yield a “statistically significant improvement in baseline subjective and objective measures of dry mouth for up to 60 minutes — and possibly longer — after application.”
“One of the results was that after two weeks of use of the patch, the amount of saliva in the mouth had increased even during times when there was no patch in the mouth,” stated the study’s lead author Ross Kerr, clinical associate professor at New York University College of Dentistry. “In other words, the patch would seem to have a cumulative beneficial effect.”
Chronic dry mouth is an under-diagnosed condition that can have a detrimental effect on oral health by contributing to tooth decay, gum disease and chronic bad breath, Quantum stated. The condition most often is a side effect of many prescription and OTC medications — 34% of people on three or more medications likely will have this condition. Dry mouth also can be a symptom of other medical conditions, such as diabetes or Sjogren’s syndrome, or can be the result of radiation treatment for head and neck cancer.
NACDS issues statement on CMS’ withdrawal of AMP provisions
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday after the agency proposed a rule that would withdraw two provisions related to pharmacy Medicaid reimbursement.
In a letter to CMS, NACDS said that it believed the average manufacturer price final rule was "fundamentally flawed, and implemented the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 in a manner that was inconsistent with congressional intent," the letter stated. "Rather than continuing efforts to implement the flawed AMP final rule, we applaud the agency for moving forward with withdrawing the provisions of the AMP final rule, as well as the multiple-source drug rule."
Federal law defines AMP as “with respect to a covered outpatient drug of a manufacturer for a rebate period, the average price paid to the manufacturer for the drug in the United States by wholesalers for drugs distributed to retail community pharmacies and retail community pharmacies that purchase drugs directly from the manufacturer.” The current AMP policy almost could cause retail pharmacies to lose money on nearly every Medicaid generic prescription they dispense.