NCPA to CMS: Medicaid reimbursements should adhere to healthcare-reform law provisions
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to follow guidance that Congress included in the healthcare-reform law in its implementation of a new Medicaid generic drug reimbursement formula based on average manufacturer price, the organization said Tuesday.
CMS recently withdrew provisions that would have dramatically cut Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement to community pharmacies from a previously proposed AMP rule due to an injunction that the NCPA obtained in 2007.
In a letter to Congress, the NCPA recommended giving manufacturers more direction in calculating their AMPs, such as requiring them to only include prices paid by wholesalers for drugs subsequently sold at pharmacies; recognizing the ill effect that the NCPA said curtailed generic drug reimbursements would have on retail pharmacies; and setting up a process by which revised federal upper limits resulting from the revised AMP data will be implemented in order to minimize disruption for patients and pharmacies.
“In many ways, independent community pharmacies are the backbone of Medicaid’s prescription drug benefit,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Pharmacies will become an even more important source of health care-related services for Medicaid beneficiaries as new healthcare reform provisions are implemented.”
PSE sales tracking system nabs meth ring
DALLAS Arkansas state police apprehended and arrested a methamphetamine ring, which had been attempting to acquire large quantities of the precursor ingredient pseudoephedrine at retail pharmacy. The police were tipped off thanks to information provided by LeadsOnLabs, an online system that helps track the illegal sale of PSE, the company announced Monday.
“Breaking up this meth ring was a big step in the fight against meth in the state of Arkansas,” stated Investigator Chris Anderson of the Arkansas state police. In this particular case, some of the individuals already had reached their legal monthly sales limit and were attempting to purchase more pills. The LeadsOnLabs system blocked a total of 43 transactions of the 235 that were attempted by this group. Because LeadsOnLabs is an online logbook and provides real-time alerts, pharmacies across the state were made aware of this group and immediately were able to deny the sale of additional pills to these individuals.
“We commend the mighty efforts of the Arkansas state police, as well as various local law enforcement agencies, and the work they do to combat meth abuse in their state,” stated Dave Finley, president and CEO of LeadsOnLabs. “We are proud to be able to help them identify individuals and groups of meth makers. Through our partnership we hope to help them win the war against methamphetamines in the state of Arkansas.”
Arkansas instituted the LeadsOnLabs system statewide in an attempt to eradicate meth abuse in the state in 2008, under the direction of Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The system has been credited with helping law enforcement bust meth labs and track down meth abusers across the state.
Axium to distribute Elaprase
LAKE MARY, Fla. Specialty pharmacy provider Axium Healthcare Pharmacy will serve as a limited distribution provider for a drug to treat a serious genetic disorder, Axium said Monday.
Axium will distribute Shire Human Genetic Therapies’ Elaprase (idursulfase), used to treat Hunter syndrome, also known as mucopolysaccharidosis II. According to the Mayo Clinic, Hunter syndrome causes chains of sugar molecules to build up in the body over time, resulting in mental deficiency and retardation, deformities, deafness and other symptoms. The juvenile-onset form of the disease typically results in death in the early teens to early 20s, while those with the late-onset form live for 20 to 60 years. It mostly affects boys.
“Axium is pleased to be granted the opportunity to be a provider of Elaprase in Puerto Rico,” Axium president and CEO Mark Montgomery said. “This selection continues to build momentum on Axium’s strong clinical programs and our investment in providing solutions for our clients.”