PHARMACY

ISPC to DoD: Reject exclusive networks in TPharm

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A group representing specialty pharmacies is calling on the Department of Defense to not use exclusive networks in the Tricare pharmacy program.

The Independent Specialty Pharmacy Coalition said exclusive arrangements for the program, also known as TPharm, were anti-competitive and harmful to patients who rely on specialty care by reducing patient choice and disrupting the continuum of care for them, and that reductions in pharmaceutical costs would not necessarily reduce overall healthcare spending.

“We hope that the DoD will keep in mind the best interests of the ultimate consumers here,” ISPC executive director Russell Gay said. “Narrow specialty pharmacy networks should be rejected because … exclusivity arrangements diminish the quality of patient care.”

Gay also criticized specialty operations owned by pharmacy benefit managers, saying the ownerships created conflicts of interest. “PBMs who own specialty pharmacy services have an incentive to drive business to their own operations, and, ultimately, everyone pays more when these conflicts exist,” Gay said.

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NCPA applauds legislation that will boost PBM oversight in Mississippi

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing the nation’s community pharmacies has applauded legislation introduced in Mississippi that will increase oversight over pharmacy benefit managers.

The National Community Pharmacists Association lauded Mississippi S.B. 2445 and expressed its support of the bill in a letter to state legislators. The bill, NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said, "would end the special treatment for out-of-state, mail-order pharmacies and put local Mississippi pharmacists first."

NCPA noted that there are 441 independent community pharmacies serving patients and employing nearly 5,000 people in Mississippi.

Click here to view the letter.

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Actos cuts Type 2 diabetes risk among majority of patients, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN ANTONIO — A drug for Type 2 diabetes made by Takeda Pharmaceutical taken in the morning prevented the disease from developing in nearly three-quarters of patients who were at risk, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers enrolled 602 patients through the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and seven other centers and administered Actos (pioglitazone) to them, finding that it prevented Type 2 diabetes in 72% of those whose obesity, ethnicity and other factors put them at risk for the disease.

“It’s a blockbuster study,” lead author and UT School of Medicine professor Ralph DeFronzo said. “The 72% reduction is the largest decrease in the conversion rate of prediabetes to diabetes that has ever been demonstrated by any intervention, be it diet, exercise or medication.”

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