HEALTH

David Brailer joins Walgreens’ board of directors

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has appointed the chairman of Health Evolution Partners to its board of directors.

The drug store chain announced Wednesday that David Brailer would join Walgreens’ board as an independent director, making him the board’s 11th member.

Brailer has served as chairman of Health Evolution Partners since 2006. Prior to joining Health Evolution Partners, he was appointed by the Bush administration as the first national health-information technology coordinator in 2004.

“David’s expertise in advancing healthcare technology on a national level, as well as his experience in supporting companies through investments that promote major change in the health system will provide us with valuable insight,” said Walgreens chairman Alan McNally. “This will be extremely important in the years ahead as technology plays an even greater role in the delivery of quality, affordable and accessible health care.”

Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson added, “David will be a tremendous resource to our board and our company as we help patients and payers lower healthcare costs while improving quality, outcomes and transparency through our pharmacy, health and wellness solutions.”

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NACDS issues statement on CMS’ withdrawal of AMP provisions

BY Allison Cerra

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.

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PSE sales tracking system nabs meth ring

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS Arkansas state police apprehended and arrested a methamphetamine ring, which had been attempting to acquire large quantities of the precursor ingredient pseudoephedrine at retail pharmacy. The police were tipped off thanks to information provided by LeadsOnLabs, an online system that helps track the illegal sale of PSE, the company announced Monday.

“Breaking up this meth ring was a big step in the fight against meth in the state of Arkansas,” stated Investigator Chris Anderson of the Arkansas state police. In this particular case, some of the individuals already had reached their legal monthly sales limit and were attempting to purchase more pills. The LeadsOnLabs system blocked a total of 43 transactions of the 235 that were attempted by this group.  Because LeadsOnLabs is an online logbook and provides real-time alerts, pharmacies across the state were made aware of this group and immediately were able to deny the sale of additional pills to these individuals.

“We commend the mighty efforts of the Arkansas state police, as well as various local law enforcement agencies, and the work they do to combat meth abuse in their state,” stated Dave Finley, president and CEO of LeadsOnLabs. “We are proud to be able to help them identify individuals and groups of meth makers. Through our partnership we hope to help them win the war against methamphetamines in the state of Arkansas.”

Arkansas instituted the LeadsOnLabs system statewide in an attempt to eradicate meth abuse in the state in 2008, under the direction of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The system has been credited with helping law enforcement bust meth labs and track down meth abusers across the state.

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