PHARMACY

CMS narrows timetable for practitioners database

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Medicare’s database of practitioners will go online earlier next year, and it will allow providers to enroll electronically, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced.

The agency plans to put its Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System online and extend it to 47 states, with exception to New York, California and Missouri, which will have access to it starting Oct. 1 of next year.

CMS also proposed ceasing to allow providers to bill it for services provided more than two years before enrollment, a proposal the Medical Group Management Association called “draconian and punitive.”

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Judge orders Ely Lilly to unseal Zyprexa documents

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York said Friday he would unseal documents concerning Zyprexa, Eli Lilly’s schizophrenia drug.

Judge Jack Weinstein’s ruling was related to his granting of class-action status to a group of unions, pension funds and insurance companies alleging that the Indianapolis-based drug maker failed to disclose some of the drug’s side effects and marketed it for uses for which regulators had not approved it.

The documents date back to 2004, when several patients sued Lilly, alleging that Zyprexa (olanzapine) caused them to develop diabetes and gain excessive weight.

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New York legislation: pharmacists can administer vaccinations

BY Alaric DeArment

ALBANY, N.Y. Starting Dec. 4, pharmacists can apply to New York’s state government for certification to administer vaccinations, under legislation signed Friday by Gov. David Paterson.

The certifications will cost $100 every three years and require training. The shots will still require prescriptions.

The purpose of the bill, supporters said, was to increase the number of vaccinations in the state; in New York City, this could mean an additional 50,000 elderly.

“Allowing pharmacists to immunize would increase access to vaccinations, as pharmacies are open long hours, on weekends and most holidays,” said Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr., a Long Island Republican who sponsored the bill.

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