HEALTH

NACDS issues statement on CMS’ withdrawal of AMP provisions

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday after the agency proposed a rule that would withdraw two provisions related to pharmacy Medicaid reimbursement.

In a letter to CMS, NACDS said that it believed the average manufacturer price final rule was "fundamentally flawed, and implemented the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 in a manner that was inconsistent with congressional intent," the letter stated. "Rather than continuing efforts to implement the flawed AMP final rule, we applaud the agency for moving forward with withdrawing the provisions of the AMP final rule, as well as the multiple-source drug rule."

Federal law defines AMP as “with respect to a covered outpatient drug of a manufacturer for a rebate period, the average price paid to the manufacturer for the drug in the United States by wholesalers for drugs distributed to retail community pharmacies and retail community pharmacies that purchase drugs directly from the manufacturer.” The current AMP policy almost could cause retail pharmacies to lose money on nearly every Medicaid generic prescription they dispense.

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Nearly $3 million for TB research awarded under FDA’s Critical Path Initiative

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has awarded almost $3 million for tuberculosis research, the agency said Monday.

The FDA said it awarded $2.9 million to six research products to help with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of TB under its Critical Path Initiative. The disease has seen increasing prevalence around the world, and two recent articles by the agency’s Office of Critical Path programs noted that advances are needed to shorten therapy and treat drug-resistant forms of the disease.

The Critical Path Initiative was created in 2004 to drive innovation in the development, evaluation and manufacturing of medical products.

“FDA recognized an urgent need for the engagement and leadership of public health institutions to promote this critical, but neglected, area of medical therapeutics,” FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said.

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Advil makers encourage safe medication disposal

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. Pfizer Consumer Healthcare on Monday launched a consumer campaign encouraging Americans to clean out their medicine cabinets and properly dispose of unwanted, expired and recalled products.

Pfizer also is partnering with Suzy Cohen, author of “The 24-Hour Pharmacist,” to offer essential tips on medicine cabinet safety. “This campaign encourages people to take a few simple steps to help ensure the safety of everyone in their household,” Cohen said. “We all need to declutter and clean out our medicine cabinets.”

 

Arecent poll found that nearly half of Americans do not always look at the expiration date on over-the-counter medications before taking them, Pfizer noted. And to encourage consumers to do exactly that, Pfizer is providing a coupon for a free bottle of Advil to the first 500,000 eligible people who register.

 

 

Pfizer also is encouraging consumers to properly dispose of medicines, suggesting that when disposing of unwanted, expired or recalled products in the medicine cabinet, consumers should take precautions to ensure they protect children, pets and the environment from potentially negative effects. For example, no medicine should be disposed of by pouring into a sink, toilet or storm drain. The campaign directs consumers to consult their pharmacists on proper disposal practices, or to visit FDA.gov and search for “disposal.”

 

 

For consumers who wish to register for one of the 500,000 free bottles of Advil, Pfizer has established the website MedicineCabinetSafety.com.

 

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