PHARMACY

DMEPOS accreditation represents a significant pharmacy hurdle

BY Drug Store News Team

DMEPOS accreditation requirements threaten the availability across several durable medical equipment categories at the pharmacy level, including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, portable commodes, compression hose, mastectomy prosthetics, neck and body orthotics and wound care, among other products and services.

That’s because securing DMEPOS accreditation represents a significant hurdle that grows exponentially in conjunction with the store base. Accreditation fees, training and implementation costs are projected to total at least $5,000 to $7,000 per store over three years, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association. And even though larger chains will be able to spread those costs across their store bases, it’s still going to push a lot of operators crunching the return-on-investment numbers to ask the question, “Why are we even in this business?”

Sales of DMEPOS products comprise between 6% and 8% of an average independent pharmacy’s annual sales — or anywhere from $216,000 to $288,000 per store — NCPA noted, which suggests that many independents and small chains may be more inclined to shutter their doors altogether.

For consumers, the DMEPOS accreditation requirements for pharmacy operators threaten convenient access to those needed supplies, especially in rural areas.

According to a study conducted by HealthPolicy R&D, retail pharmacies are the largest providers of DMEPOS services to Medicare patients.

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PHARMACY

American Consultants Rx donates discount Rx cards to non-profits

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA American Consultants Rx has re-launched a community service project that involves donating millions of discount prescription cards to non-profit organizations, hospitals, schools, churches and others.

President Charles Myrick announced the plan Wednesday. American Consultants Rx said it was an effort to assist the uninsured, underinsured and elderly people in dealing with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The cards are accepted at more than 50,000 stores, including such nationwide chains as Walgreens, Kmart and Walmart.

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Panacos sells rights to HIV drug candidate bevirimat to Myriad for $7M

BY Alaric DeArment

WATERTOWN, Mass. Panacos Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company in Massachusetts, said Wednesday that it has sold the rights to the HIV drug candidate bevirimat to Salt Lake City-based drug maker Myriad Pharmaceuticals for $7 million.

The sale includes patents and patent applications related to bevirimat, product inventory, rights to regulatory filings and various contracts. Panacos said the drug, a maturation inhibitor, is the first of its class.

“Our goal has been to develop drugs with novel mechanisms of action to give people living with HIV new treatment options,” Panacos president and CEO Alan Dunton said in a statement. “In order to achieve this goal and to manage capital resources in the current market environment, we chose to sell bevirimat to Myriad Pharmaceuticals.”

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