In the News: April 6, 2018

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Here is your weekly round-up of pharmacy news from the last week. Enjoy!

"Pharmaceutical groups are warning that President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on goods from China could lead to higher prescription drug costs in the United States, The Hill reported."

"Health policy experts laid out a series of proposals to bring down prescription drug costs, lower US healthcare spending, and protect patients in a series of 3 papers published recently as Health Affairs Policy Options Papers."

"Maine pharmacies may soon be able to offer Naloxone to those who need the life-saving drug most, joining 46 other states where the overdose reversal drug is readily available by standing order, similar to the flu vaccine."

"Members of the Florida Board of Pharmacy were told Monday that it shouldn’t take long to alter regulations for pharmacists to comply with a new law aimed at combating the opioid epidemic."

"The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final 2019 Medicare Part D rule on Monday addressing direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees.
 
In the rule, CMS asserted its statutory authority to require that some portion of rebates and pharmacy DIR fees be applied at point of sale, according to, according to a National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) press release. However, the rule does not actually require such a change, but states that “any new requirements regarding the application of rebates at the point of sale would be proposed through notice and comment rule-making in the future.'”

"The approved proposal will require doctors to provide proof a patient needs high doses of medication before prescribing it."

"A post-implementation review of the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, has revealed that a small proportion of distance selling pharmacies (DSPs) have been misusing the DSP exemption in order to supply local, rather than national, delivery services."

"After years of discussion about medical marijuana in Louisiana, production of the plant is approaching, pharmacies are angling for exclusive permits to sell the drug and doctors are slowly becoming licensed to prescribe it to patients.

Yet, a number of consultants, prospective pharmacy owners and advocates say the reams of regulations and narrowly-crafted laws enabling the medical marijuana program here will likely have to be loosened at some point if pharmacies are to survive financially."

"Only a few months away from new sweeping opioid laws taking effect, rule makers are acting quickly to develop methods to implement the new changes without overburdening professionals — particularly pharmacists — with an inundation of new rules and responsibilities."