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NACDS-backed provider status bill hits milestone

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that NACDS-backed bipartisan legislation, H.R. 4190, which would expand pharmacists’ ability to serve patients and improve their healthcare outcomes, has garnered a milestone 100 co-sponsors.

The legislation would amend the Social Security Act, allowing pharmacists to be paid by Medicare Part B for providing services in medically underserved communities — subject to state scope-of-practice laws.

Reps. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Hank Johnson, D-Ga., Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., and Tim Walz, D-Minn., are the latest cosponsors of the bill, which was introduced on March 11.
 

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Associated Wholesalers files Ch. 11, enters purchase agreement with C&S

BY Antoinette Alexander

ROBESONIA, Pa. — Regional cooperative food distributor Associated Wholesalers and its subsidiaries, including the White Rose distribution business, has filed for bankruptcy and entered a purchase agreement with C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Under the agreement, C&S Wholesale Grocers will acquire substantially all of Associated Wholesalers’ assets, including White Rose. C&S will serve as the "stalking horse bidder" in a court-supervised auction process. Accordingly, the agreement is subject to higher and otherwise better offers, among other conditions.

Associated Wholesalers and White Rose are expected to continue operating in the normal course during the sale process.

"The addition of AWI and White Rose would expand C&S's footprint and enhance our significant capabilities in servicing independent grocers," said Rick Cohen, chairman and CEO of C&S. "AWI and White Rose have a terrific customer base, and their distribution capabilities are a natural complement to our existing portfolio.  We believe we are strongly positioned to provide all of their customers with the goods and services they need to successfully run and even grow their businesses."

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FDA releases ‘Purple Book’ to list biological products

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration recently announced the availability of the “Purple Book,” which lists biological products — including any biosimilar and interchangeable biological products licensed by FDA under the Public Health Service Act — in much the same way that the "Orange Book" lists pharmaceuticals. 
 
The lists include the date a biological product was licensed under 351(a) of the PHS Act and whether FDA evaluated the biological product for reference product exclusivity under section 351(k)(7) of the PHS Act. The Purple Book also will enable a user to see whether a biological product licensed under section 351(k) of the PHS Act has been determined by FDA to be biosimilar to or interchangeable with a reference biological product (an already-licensed FDA biological product). 
 
Biosimilar and interchangeable biological products licensed under section 351(k) of the PHS Act will be listed under the reference product to which biosimilarity or interchangeability was demonstrated.
 
Separate lists for those biological products regulated by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research will be updated periodically.
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