NCPA aims for 75 percent community pharmacy membership
ALEXANDRIA, Va. With the Presidential campaign and Senate bill 3101 looming overhead, the National Community Pharmacists Association has reached a “historic juncture,” according to Bruce Roberts, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the NCPA. Looking to give independent pharmacy a greater voice, the association has announced an aggressive membership campaign.
“We have the opportunity to define this industry in a positive way and for us all to sit back in the years to come and say we really made a difference,” said Roberts. “We can’t do that with just a small subset of the industry carrying the load. So we are going to make a major push to get the community pharmacists engaged in membership—we need to have the support of all of the industry.”
The organization currently has a membership of about 50 percent—or 12,000 members—of independent community pharmacy. The goal: To have, one year from now, about 75 percent of pharmacy owners as “engaged” members of the association.
As part of the campaign, the association will work to contact every non-member nationwide “in every possible way” including email, snail mail and telephone. The association will also work with current members, buying groups, wholesalers, etc. to reinforce the importance of being a member and encourage participation among non-members.
NCPA also plans to improve member benefits. Specific details were not disclosed but the improvements are expected to have a direct impact on members’ bottom line, and will help members attract quality employees, and attract and retain new customers.
“The one thing we will be doing beyond just asking folks to be members is we want to get them engaged. We have to have community pharmacists around the country engaged in a significant way,” said Roberts.
Serving as a slice of evidence of the success that can be achieved if community pharmacy works together is Senate bill 3101. The legislation includes provisions requiring prompt payment to pharmacies in Medicare Part D as well as a delay to the new AMP reimbursement.
“Just on this Senate bill we facilitated over 7,000 phone calls from pharmacists to Congress over the course of the last 24 hours,” said Roberts. “So for me, and the reason I become so passionate about this, is because I have seen the tremendous success we have had in just the little bit of work we have done and I can only image how successful we can be if we can get to that goal of having 75 percent of community pharmacists in the country as members—not only as members but engaged.”
Florida e-prescribing organization releases registered vendor list
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ePrescribe Florida, an organization that assists pharmacies in adopting electronic prescription systems, released a list of registered vendor solutions Tuesday.
Registered vendors made the list by meeting a set of e-prescribing and patient-safety criteria, such as alerting customers about potential interactions between drugs and allergies, as well as meeting Medicare electronic prescription standards. The list of 13 vendors includes H2H Solutions, iScribe, MedPlus, Misys Healthcare Systems and NextGen Healthcare.
ePrescribe Florida comprises various pharmacies, physicians, insurers, health-care improvement organizations and other organizations and professionals.
Cephalon sues Watson over Fentora patent
NEW YORK Drug maker Cephalon alleges that Watson infringed on its patent by developing a generic equivalent to its drug, Fentora.
Fentora (fentanyl citrate) is used to treat pain in cancer patients and received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in September 2006.
Watson applied for FDA approval of its generic version in April. In response, Cephalon filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on June 2, asserting that Watson had infringed on patents ‘604 and ‘590, both of which expire in 11 years.
Fentora recorded sales of $135 million in 2007.
The FDA has, however, granted approval for Watson’s application for a generic version of KV Pharmaceutical’s Micro-K Extencaps in 600 mg and 750 mg doses.
The company that is now Wyeth sold global rights and the trademark for Micro-K to KV for $36 million in 1999. Micro-K had sales of $80 between March 2007 and March 2008, according to IMS Health data.