PHARMACY

Washington state signs ‘transformative legislation’ to recognize pharmacists as providers

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

WASHINGTON — Earlier this week, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed into law landmark legislation requiring health insurance carriers to include pharmacists as network providers. The legislation, ESSB 5557, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, is the first of its kind in the country to mandate coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services.

Previously, most health insurance carriers in the state of Washington only recognized pharmacists for dispensing medication. Similar barriers still exist at the federal level, where promoting patient access to and coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services continues to be a leading legislative issue for the pharmacy profession.

Thomas E. Menighan, EVP and CEO of The American Pharmacists Association applauded the move and stated, “We applaud the state legislators in Washington for recognizing that the future of health care is about access, quality and team-based care. This transformative legislation will improve patients’ access to direct patient care from pharmacists, while also allowing for greater collaboration among health care providers, both of which will result in improved patient outcomes.”

In late January, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act was introduced in both the U.S. House (H.R. 592) and Senate (S. 314), a critical step in better utilizing pharmacists to positively impact patients and health care. Today, there are 119 bipartisan co-sponsors on the House bill and 14 co-sponsors on the Senate bill.

“States cannot act alone. APhA urges members of Congress to take steps now to improve patient access to health care through pharmacists,” stated Menighan. “As highly accessible professionals with more medication education and training than any other health care provider, pharmacists are in a position to improve quality of care and patient outcomes, especially for those patients living in medically underserved areas.”

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CARE signs specialty pharmacy management services deal

BY Michael Johnsen

LINTHICUM, Md. – CARE Pharmacies Cooperative and Aureus Health Services, a national specialty pharmacy and health services company, on Thursday announced their partnership in a specialty pharmacy management services program. Under the partnership Aureus will provide management services to CARE member pharmacies and provide resources to support the growing needs of their specialty patients and providers.
 
"We looked at a number of potential partners to assist us in providing a higher level of care to our specialty patients and Aureus was the best," stated Mike Wysong, CEO CARE. "Aureus' highly trained support team and comprehensive care management model offers a level of support and expertise required to ensure the very best outcomes for our customers." 
 
"We are very excited to partner with CARE and their unique network of pharmacies. The CARE Pharmacies Specialty Network will provide a convenient and valuable choice for specialty patients and this partnership will further enhance the support and services needed to improve patient care" said Michael Nameth, CEO of Aureus.
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Greenstone intros authorized generic version of Vibramycin Hyclate

BY Ryan Chavis

PEAPACK, N.J. — Greenstone, a subsidiary of Pfizer, announced the introduction of doxycycline hyclate capsules, USP to its line of products. 
 
The drug, an authorized generic version of Vibramycin Hyclate capsules, is offered by the company in 100-mg dosage strengths in variations of 50 and 500 capsules per bottle.
 
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