Bush signs ‘rogue’ online Rx bill
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is hailing Pres. Bush’s signature of a bill to crack down on rogue online pharmacies.
Enactment of the bill, known as the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act, or H.R. 6353, completes a “trifecta” of victories in Congress on legislation considered a priority for retail pharmacy advocates, NACDS noted today.
The bill will clamp down on the illegal sale, abuse and trafficking of prescription drugs over the Internet.
It would require a valid prescription for the purchase or distribution of any prescription drug over the Internet, issued by a prescribing physician or other qualified professional who has personally examined the patient. However, the bill exempts remote-site pharmacies that operate under approved “tele-medicine” procedures.
“Illegal online ‘pharmacies’ encourage prescription drug abuse and prey on individuals by offering medications without a valid prescription,” noted NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson. “These ‘rogue’ websites threaten the health of consumers and tarnish the reputation of legitimate online commerce. The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act provides for tough penalties and stronger enforcement against these scofflaws.
“NACDS members operate legitimate, state-licensed pharmacies, many of which have an associated and branded Internet website that offers customers the convenience of contacting their pharmacy via the Internet for medication and health care needs,” Anderson added. “H.R. 6353 recognizes these legitimate operations and would not interfere with the important services and products that our members offer online.
“We applaud Congress and President Bush for taking action to stop these dangerous rogue websites and protect the safety of consumers.”
In recent days, Bush also signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009, which includes an important provision to preserve pharmacy choice for military members and their families enrolled in the TRICARE health program. The White House also approved the Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act, toughening controls over the illegal methamphetamines with new electronic logbook procedures to provide law enforcement with easier access to information and streamlining recordkeeping requirements for pharmacies.
Medicare patients not getting cancer screenings often enough
ROCKVILLE, Md. A study by researchers at the University of North Carolina shows that screening rates for certain types of cancer among older Medicaid patients lag behind national objectives.
The study, published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine and based on documented evidence, analyzed 1,951 Medicaid recipients in North Carolina aged 50 and older and found that physicians recommended screening for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer to 52.7 percent, 60.4 percent and 51.5 percent of patients, respectively.
Respective rates of adequate screening for the three cancers were 28.2 percent, 31.7 percent and 31.6 percent.
Report shows Philadelphia has high rate of those treated for diabetes type 2
PHILADELPHIA Percentages of people in Philadelphia who receive services to treat type 2 diabetes are higher than national averages. At the same time, the percentage of working-age people with the disease is higher in the city than the national average.
These are some of the results in the Greater Philadelphia Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2008, released Wednesday by the Greater Philadelphia Diabetes Coalition, which analyzed the demographics, costs and quality of care for people in the city with type 2 diabetes. The report included data from around the city’s metropolitan area, as well as western Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, N.J.
“GPDC helped develop the Greater Philadelphia Type 2 Diabetes Report to serve as a useful resource for employers, illustrating the seirous negative impact diabetes has on the Greater Philadelphia area,” GPDC chairman Dr. Ronald Brooks said. “This report points out the need to prevent diabetes through exercise and prudent nutrition as well as the importance that people with diabetes receive optimal care, based on evidence-based guidelines.”
The report also shows that 57 percent of Philadelphia residents in 2007 were between 18 and 64 years old, higher than the national average of 52.3 percent. In Atlantic City, the rate was 59.4 percent.
It also shows that costs for care of people with Type 2 diabetes are higher in Philadelphia than in the other five markets profiled. In 2007, the average hospital inpatient charges for treating Type 2 diabetics was $95,813, almost twice as high as the national average of $49,870. Hospital outpatient charges were $6,168, while the national average was $4,673.