PHARMACY

Lawmakers push for transition period to implement AMP-based FULs

BY DSN STAFF

 

ARLINGTON, Va. — Sixty-four members of the U.S. Senate and the House asked Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to adopt at least a one-year transition period for states to implement the April 2015 average manufacturer price based federal upper limits. In a statement, National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and Reps. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) for leading the way. 
 
According to NACDS, senators urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services to preserve access to important prescription medications for Medicaid patients by supporting “proper and accurate reimbursement for retail community pharmacies that dispense prescription drugs to Medicaid beneficiaries, and ensuring that state Medicaid programs have sufficient time to implement federal regulatory changes.”
 
CMS announced a delay in the implementation of AMP-based FULs last June. Last November, CMS said that at the same time the “Final Rule on Medicaid Covered Outpatient Drugs” is released, it plans to finalize the new FULs and guidance to states for implementing those FULs. In their letter, lawmakers stressed the need for at least a one-year period to help states meet the requirements of the final rule.  
 
“States need time to pass drug reimbursement changes through their legislatures, particularly in light of the fact that a number of state legislatures end their sessions in spring or early summer every year. States will also need sufficient time to conduct cost-of-dispensing studies to allow for the calculation of fair pharmacy reimbursement, as well as time needed to file State Plan Amendments to make adjustments in light of the new FULs,” the House letter stated. 
 
NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson expressed his appreciation to the lawmakers in signing the letters: “The implementation of these AMP-based FULs poses great concern for pharmacy patient care. And we appreciate the recognition by U.S. Senators and Representatives of the need for an adequate transition period so that states have an opportunity to make an effective transition to help preserve access to pharmacy services for low-income Americans.”
 

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QS/1 announces partnership with CCNC

BY DSN STAFF

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — QS/1 announced a partnership with Community Care of North Carolina in an effort to coordinate healthcare providers. QS/1’s Pharmacy Management Systems have been upgraded to exchange data with CCNC’s PharmaceHome, a software application that conducts medication reconciliation to manage the care of Medicaid recipients in North Carolina, QS/1 stated.
 
“Patients no longer see one doctor,” said Michael Ziegler, QS/1 senior manager, marketing and analyst. “Patients also consult with specialists, nurse practitioners and pharmacists about their health. That is why this collaboration with CCNC is crucial.”
 
According to Ziegler, healthcare providers can review and update the records of patients each time they receive care. “Participating pharmacies can then access this data to view a complete picture of patient medication adherence,” he said.
 
PharmaceHome was developed as part of a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator. Community pharmacies in N.C. will use the database to document activities that make up a Comprehensive Medication Review. This will follow up on issues related to drug therapy problems, QS/1 said. 
 
“QS/1 is pleased to see CCNC work on an effort that focuses on the benefits community pharmacy brings to healthcare and to find ways to reimburse pharmacies for this value,” Ziegler said.
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NACDS names new officers for 2015-2016

BY Ryan Chavis

 

PALM BEACH, Fla. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced during its Annual Meeting, the election of new officers, four new executive committee members and five new board of directors member for the coming year.
 
Randy Edeker, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee will serve as the new NACDS chairman of the board of directors. Edeker succeeds John Standley, chairman and chief executive officer of Rite Aid.
 
In addition, Martin Otto, chief merchant and CFO of H-E-B, was elected vice chairman, and J.K. Symancyk, president of Meijer, was elected treasurer. Each officer will serve a one-year term.  
 
“I congratulate Randy Edeker on his election as NACDS chairman of the Board of Directors,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson, IOM, CAE.  “During his service on the Executive Committee, Randy’s leadership helped drive NACDS’ activities on key industry issues and policies. His extraordinary leadership at Hy-Vee has driven continued success and further illustrates his commitment to the industry.  We look forward to working with him in his new role with NACDS in the coming year.”
 
The NACDS Board also elected the following new executive committee members: Labeed Diab, president of health and wellness with Walmart; Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreens; Martin Otto, chief merchant and CFO of H-E-B; and J.K. Symancyk, president of Meijer. 
 
The five new board of directors members, who were elected to serve three-year terms, include: Richard Ashworth, president, pharmacy and retail operations with Walgreens ; Helena Foulkes, president, CVS/pharmacy and EVP, CVS Caremark, with CVS Health; Jon Giacomin, CEO, pharmaceutical segment with Medicine Shoppe International; Alex Gourlay, president of Walgreen Co.; and David Neu, president, Good Neighbor Pharmacy. 

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