PHARMACY

DSN’s Friday Pharmacy Phunny

BY DSN STAFF

The start of October is also the start of American Pharmacists Month, and to celebrate, Drug Store News is launching its Friday Pharmacy Phunny series. Every Friday in October, DSN A.M. will feature a new cartoon aimed at pharmacists and their funny bones. Check out our first installment above, and check back next week for another. 

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PHARMACY

NACDS concerned with TRICARE provisions in NDAA

BY David Salazar

ARLINGTON, Va. — Earlier this week, Congress released its Conference Report on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes spending for the U.S. Dept. of Defense, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores president Steve Anderson has concerns about the bill’s provisions regarding TRICARE.

According to Anderson, the bill contains language that limits pharmacy access and choice for TRICARE beneficiaries — a move that contradicts the DoD’s Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission and lawmaker recommendations. In particular, there are concerns about the bill’s language calling for annual copay revisions starting in 2016. Additionally, Anderson notes the absence of a pilot program that would benefit TRICARE patients.

“We have remained highly engaged in efforts to preserve pharmacy access and choice for TRICARE patients over the years, including consistent advocacy efforts with lawmakers,” Anderson said. “Key to that effort is testing the concept of making available to retail pharmacies the same medication acquisition cost rates enjoyed by mail order and military treatment facilities. The conference agreement omits the pilot program, which would have explored this important concept. We remain committed to seeking the pilot for this program so that we can guarantee that TRICARE beneficiaries get the access to quality care they not only need but deserve.”

Anderson said that the importance of the pilot program and allowing more choice and access for TRICARE patients is about ensuring they have appropriate care.

“Local retail pharmacies provide convenience and value for patients, and it’s unclear why policies are not matching up with opportunities for TRICARE patients to benefit from the services of their local, trusted pharmacists,” he said. “Threatening beneficiary access to prescription medications and their preferred healthcare provider will only increase the use of more costly medical interventions, such as physician and emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”

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Sanofi launches generic Arava through Winthrop

BY David Salazar

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Sanofi announced Thursday that it had launched its generic of Arava (lefluniomide) tablets through its U.S. generics division Winthrop.

Leflunomide is indicated to increase mobility among rheumatoid arthritis patients by reducing inflammation and will be available form Winthrop in 10- and 20-mg tablets.

“The Arava authorized generic assures patients that they receive the same quality treatment of the original drug,” Sanofi’s VP general therapeutics and life cycle management Dr. Cary Yonce said. “We are committed to making authorized generics like Arava available and affordable to patients who need them.”

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