Archive for February, 2010

Examining PBM Arguments Against Greater Transparency in the Federal Employee Health Plan

We recently took a closer look at the arguments offered by the top Washington lobby for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) against new legislation that would bring greater PBM oversight and disclosure to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) in an effort to reduce costs for patients and taxpayers.

Continue reading ‘Examining PBM Arguments Against Greater Transparency in the Federal Employee Health Plan’

PBM Transparency: Coming to a Federal Employee Health Plan near You

By Kevin Schweers

A Congressional hearing late Tuesday afternoon signaled that, one way or another, changes appear to be coming to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that will result in more oversight of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and savings for patients and taxpayers. Continue reading ‘PBM Transparency: Coming to a Federal Employee Health Plan near You’

Congressman? Check Aisle 3

By Kevin Schweers

Congress returns to Washington this week after the President’s Day recess. During that break several U.S. Representatives took time to visit independent community pharmacies. They saw first-hand the value pharmacies provide in meeting local health needs as well as the challenges posed by regulation, legislation and other factors.

Continue reading ‘Congressman? Check Aisle 3′

‘Get into Politics or Get Out of Pharmacy’

By Bruce T. Roberts, RPh

That’s the unofficial motto of NCPA’s advocacy efforts. A key component to that work is our political action committee (PAC), which was featured in USA TODAY this week. The paper reports that in 2009 our PAC donated three times the amount it did to community pharmacy supporters in 2007, the last non-election year. What’s behind the trend and why should political advocacy be a priority for every community pharmacist? Continue reading ‘‘Get into Politics or Get Out of Pharmacy’’

Medicaid News in the States

By John Coster, RPh., Ph.D.

Economic downturns like the current one produce a double-whammy for federal and state Medicaid budgets: enrollment in the program grows as there’s less money to pay for it. That means more potential for provider reimbursement cuts – something NCPA is trying hard to avoid. Pharmacies can simply not withstand any more Medicaid reimbursement cuts, especially in light of last year’s AWP rollback. Here’s a rundown of some related state activity NCPA’s monitoring, along with federal efforts. Continue reading ‘Medicaid News in the States’

Pressing Ranbaxy for Answers on, Changes to its Handling of Valacyclovir Distribution

NCPA has been inundated with additional complaints from independent community pharmacists who have found it impossible to obtain valacyclovir (the generic version of Valtrex) for their patients, even when national chain pharmacies nearby are stocking it.  We recently relayed those concerns and some questions to the drug’s manufacturer, Ranbaxy, via a letter which we also shared with the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Continue reading ‘Pressing Ranbaxy for Answers on, Changes to its Handling of Valacyclovir Distribution’

When No Drug Coverage Beats CVS Caremark Coverage

By Devin Stone

What do Senators, post office employees, and other government workers enrolled in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) have in common? They all apparently pay higher prices for generic drugs than uninsured patients when shopping at a CVS Caremark retail pharmacy location. Continue reading ‘When No Drug Coverage Beats CVS Caremark Coverage’


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