In the News: March 16, 2018

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We searched through the internet to find you some of the most interesting pharmacy-related articles from the week. Enjoy!

"With specialty drug costs projected to account for 50% of all drug spend by 2020, it is more important than ever that specialty pharmacies document and report positive clinical outcomes for patients. In an effort to identify the most effective therapies and justify the large costs associated with these therapies, specialty pharmacy systems that track patient data around clinical outcomes are now part of our core business model."

"FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, has become a key leader in the fight against high drug costs, according to The Hill. Dr Gottlieb previously said the FDA must take action against brand name manufacturers that have been blocking generic products from emerging in an effort to reduce competition. President Donald Trump addressed the issue of drug costs during his campaign and has delegated efforts to Dr Gottlieb, who is facing the problem head-on, according to the article."

"Using tactics that have drawn the attention of federal regulators and attracted lawsuits, drug plans and insurers have boxed out their smaller partners so they can take the business for themselves, independent pharmacies say."

"The healthcare industry is consolidating in a series of head-snapping deals. But like many of the recent multibillion-dollar combinations, it’s not clear whether the just-announced $52-billion merger of Cigna Corp. and Express Scripts Holding Co. will deliver lower premiums or cheaper drugs for consumers."

"As a health economist, Karen Van Nuys had heard that it’s sometimes cheaper to pay cash at the pharmacy counter than to put down your insurance card and pay a copay."

"The most important changes you will make originate with you."

"Arkansas' governor has signed into law a measure regulating pharmacy benefit managers that was prompted by complaints from pharmacists around the state about cuts in reimbursements earlier this year."

"Pharmacists have been fighting PBMs since January, claiming they're not getting fair reimbursement rates, causing them to lose money by filing prescriptions, forcing them to turn away customers, and in extreme cases, putting them in jeopardy of going out of business."

"Thanks to a new bill signed into law on Thursday, Arkansans will once again be able to get the care they need from the pharmacists they trust."

"But this week, Oregon's legislature passed a law that will make it easier to note pharmaceutical price-gouging."

"There are big changes afoot for pharmacies both in Idaho and across the United States."