PHARMACY

Reports: Sen. David Vitter seeks to link vote on compounding bill to bid to prevent Obamacare employer contributions for lawmakers, staff

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is holding up a vote on a measure that would strengthen regulations on compounding pharmacies in order to alter a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to published reports.

Bloomberg reported that Vitter was trying to couple a vote on the compounding law with a proposal to deny lawmakers and their staffs employer contributions for health insurance purchased on the health insurance exchanges set up under ACA. Senators may have to spend a week on work that would otherwise take minutes, according to Bloomberg.

Every senator except Vitter has pledged to vote for the bill, H.R. 3204, which would subject pharmacies that engage in sterile compounding to Food and Drug Administration regulations. The FDA has sought to regulate the pharmacies since last year’s outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to the New England Compounding Center, which sickened hundreds and killed dozens.

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Innovation debuts PharmASSIST Dispenser Model 4

BY Alaric DeArment

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Pharmacy automation products manufacturer Innovation has started rolling out the latest model of its medication dispensing system, the company said Thursday.

Innovation announced the rollout, to its main customer base and the pharmacy industry at large, of the PharmASSIST Dispenser Model 4, calling it the first in the industry to self-calibrate the counting of new medications at a pharmacy. The calibration is based on patented Falcon Detection technology that enables the dispense to count all types of tablet and capsule medication with the highest possible accuracy, Innovation said, and the Model 4 is made with electrostatically charged plastic that repels dust that naturally occurs when handling pills.

"As we established Model 4 development goals, we know how important the concept of self-calibration of medications was to our customers and the industry," Innovation CEO Mary Reno said. "Self-calibration is a huge timesaver for pharmacies, enabling their staff to start counting new medications immediately instead of having to make technical adjustments or wait for a new cell to arrive. This is particularly relevant when a branded drug goes generic."

 

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CVS Caremark’s Pharmacy Advisor program receives accreditation

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that its Pharmacy Advisor Counseling program has been awarded Health Call Center accreditation from URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based health care accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the healthcare industry.

This represents the first time that CVS Caremark has received the Health Call Center accreditation and the second accreditation that the Pharmacy Advisor Counseling program has received this year.

"CVS Caremark is honored that our Pharmacy Advisor Counseling call center received accreditation from URAC," stated Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "We are pleased to be recognized for providing outstanding services in the industry and believe this distinction underscores the quality of the services we provide to our customers and their members."

CVS Caremark’s Pharmacy Advisor Counseling Program call center offers personalized care to members with chronic conditions through a combination of targeted live outbound calls and inbound call access. Members have the opportunity to have a discussion with a clinical pharmacist about topics that include the rationale behind prescribing the medication and potential issues that may affect adherence, such as side effects. The program was developed to help improve medication adherence for members with certain chronic conditions.

URAC’s Health Call Center Accreditation ensures that registered nurses, physicians, or other validly licensed individuals perform the clinical aspects of triage and other health information services in a manner that is timely, confidential, and includes medically appropriate care and treatment advice.

 

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