NCPA objects to planned Florida expansion of Medicaid pilot program
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday urged the federal government to reject Florida’s request to extend and expand its Medicaid managed care pilot program statewide from five to 67 counties.
“We understand Florida’s budget crunch and the need to rein Medicaid costs. But if the past is prologue, then expanding Florida’s Medicaid managed care pilot program statewide would be a mistake,” stated Douglas Hoey, EVP and CEO. “For those who would dismiss our concerns about Medicaid managed care, consider the independent study from Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. It revealed that Florida’s five-year old pilot program hasn’t produced verifiable costs savings and has caused significant disruptions to beneficiary access and patient-provider relationships.”
To read the NCPA letter addressing Cindy Mann, director Center for Medicaid and State Operations of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, click here.
For a copy of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute referenced by NCPA, click here.
Report: Google co-founder knew about illegal pharmacy ads
NEW YORK — Top officials at Google knew about ads for online black-market pharmacies displayed on the Internet search giant’s website, according to published reports.
Forbes magazine reported that federal investigators said Google co-founder Larry Page was aware that the ads were illegal but still allowed them to be displayed, based on documents related to the case. The article quoted a company spokesman as saying that the company had settled and was "moving on," but that it should not have allowed the ads.
Last week, Google paid $500 million to the federal government to settle allegations that it allowed the pharmacies to display their ads. The pharmacies purported to be Canadian and sell prescription drugs online without requiring prescriptions to customers who go to them looking to save money.
In many cases, however, black-market pharmacies provide a way for counterfeit, adulterated and mishandled drugs to enter the U.S. healthcare system. Last month, a report by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy found that 96% of 8,000 analyzed rogue pharmacy websites operated out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws, and more than 85% did not require a valid prescription.
Meanwhile, as Food and Drug Administration commissioner Margaret Hamburg recently remarked, between 30% and 50% of drugs used to treat serious conditions around the world are counterfeit, and the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest estimated that global drug counterfeiting is growing by 12% to 16% per year.
Hyland’s launches new kid-friendly cold product; on shelves in mass in January
LOS ANGELES — Hyland’s launched a new Hyland’s Baby cough syrup for infants 6 months and older, the company announced earlier this month.
“Finding safe medicines for babies is challenging for parents,” stated Amy Fox, VP product innovation at Hyland’s. “The medicine itself was formulated specifically to cover the wide range of cold-related coughs, from the tickling cough to the dry cough.”
It’s the latest product to be folded into Hyland’s Baby line, which includes another recent introduction: Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets.
Hyland’s Baby cough syrup is expected to first be available in natural health stores by year’s end. Beginning in January 2012, Hyland’s Baby cough syrup will be available in chain drug stores, pharmacies, grocery stores and supercenters. The product is suggested to retail at $9.99.