GPhA lauds Christie for signing N.J. biosimilar bill
WASHINGTON — This week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had signed a bill into law that allows pharmacists to exchange a Food and Drug Administration-approved biosimilar for a biologic product. This move makes New Jersey the latest of 12 states and Puerto Rico that has adopted similar legislation in 2015.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association and its Biosimilar Council voiced its support for the move with a statement from president and CEO Chip Davis.
“This year for biosimilars continues to be one of progress and promise,” said Chip Davis. “We are very pleased that state policymakers in New Jersey and across the country are ensuring pharmaceutical competition and promoting patient access to more affordable medicine.”
Teva Canada launches generic Avelox
BY DSN STAFF
TORONTO — Teva Canada on Tuesday announced the launch of its generic Avelox (moxifloxacin) tablets following Health Canada approval. The drug is intended to treat respiratory tract infections, including mild to moderate pneuomonia, acute bacterial sinusitis and acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.
“As cold and flu season is just beginning, we are proud to have played our part in expediting the availability of a more affordable version of this physician and pharmacist trusted medication for respiratory tract infections," Teva Canada’s SVP and general manager Doug Sommerville said.
Avelox had sales of $28.4 million as of September 2015, according to data from IMS Brogan.
Avalere study identifies 3 ways to broaden reimbursements
A new analysis by Avalere Health is examining the ways that pharmacists might be able to see broader reimbursement for the services they provide. The research, funded by the National Association of Chain Drug Store, identified three factors that can be changed to improve reimbursements for pharmacists who are increasingly asked to provide improved outcomes among patients.
“While opportunities for pharmacists to provide direct patient care services emerge, options for obtaining reimbursement for these services continue to be limited for community pharmacists,” the study said.
One of the biggest barriers to reimbursement the study identifies is the pharmacist’s lack of provider status under Medicare Part B. Though several states have formally recognized pharmacists as providers, the lack of recognition at a federal level limits reimbursement for pharmacists providing certain services. A federal recognition, the study says, might put in place a reference for payers to establish reimbursement policies.
Additionally, the analysis highlights a lack of communication between different systems, which can limit the pharmacist’s ability to access a patient’s records and coordinate care with physicians. The study highlights past instances where improved communication has improved outcomes as a result of coordinated interventions.
“If clinical information and care strategies are siloed from one another, this creates a missed opportunity to inform the delivery of care to patients that integrates different practitioners in a coordinated fashion,” the study said.
Finally, the study urges more evidence to show the value of such pharmacist-provided services as immunizations, medication therapy management, chronic condition management and wellness screenings — especially in terms of the money these services will save payers, which are increasingly looking to curb costs.
To remedy the challenges facing pharmacists, the analysis calls for the establishment of a federal recognition of pharmacists as providers under Medicar Part D, standardization of methods for billing for services across state and federal programs and an increased coordination between pharmacists and medical benefit through improved exchange of information between different parts of a patient’s care team.
“With a greater focus on improving the value of care, the opportunities for pharmacists to provide a variety of direct patient care services will continue to evolve as incentives for reimbursement of these services are established,” the study said.
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