PHARMACY

NACDS, NCPA file lawsuit against Minnesota over Medicaid cuts

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Just a few days after announcing lawsuits against three states, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have declared that the state of Minnesota unlawfully cut patient access to Medicaid.

Additional state-based associations, including the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, the Minnesota Retailers Association and other businesses, filed as co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The co-plaintiffs claim the state violating the Social Security Act, which required states to adjust reimbursement rates as a result of reductions to the average wholesale price of drugs.

“MPhA is deeply disappointed in the decision of the Department of Human Services to not exercise its authority and responsibility to assist pharmacies in what will be a devastating blow to their ability to provide services to their patients,” said Julie K. Johnson, Pharm.D., EVP and CEO, Minnesota Pharmacists Association.

As previously reported by Drug Store News Wednesday, California, New York and Washington were also accused of denying patient access and quality care to Medicaid patients.

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Study finds certain diabetes drugs may cause bone fractures

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A certain class of diabetes drugs may put patients at higher risk of bone fractures, according to a study published in the online edition of the journal PLoS Medicine.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in the United Kingdom, used data from a database of more than 6 million British patients, using data from 1,819 patients aged 40 and older who had experienced a bone fracture while taking at least one drug called a thiazolidinedione.

Taking age and the resulting higher risk of fractures into account, the researchers found that patients had fractures at 1.43 times the rate while taking the drugs as when they didn’t take them. Among patients taking the drugs for four years or more, the rate was twofold. Though the study’s findings suggest an association between the drugs and higher risk of fractures, the researchers cautioned against jumping to conclusions based on them.

“These findings do not prove that thiazolidinediones cause fractures because, despite the self-controlled case-series design of this study, it remains possible that the people who have fractures share some unknown characteristic that affects their chances of breaking a bone,” the researchers wrote.

Thiazolidinediones, also known as glitazones include drugs such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ Actos (pioglitazone), both of which were included in the study.

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All cases of gestational diabetes should be treated, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK As the percentage of women who are overweight increases, so have cases of a form of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women and can put their babies at risk of metabolic disorders.

According to a study of 958 women, six to eight months pregnant with mild gestational diabetes, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, all women with the condition should receive treatment for it. The women were broken into two groups, one that received no treatment and one that received counseling on diet and monitoring of glucose and, in some cases, insulin.

Most babies were born with normal weights, but 14.5% in the group that received no treatment were too large, compared with 7.1% of the babies in the treatment group, who also were less likely to experience birth trauma or have to be delivered by C-section.

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