• Category Archives Medicines
  • Florida: New Legislation Will Empower Independent Drugstores to Charge Employers and Consumers Higher Prices for Prescription Drugs

    PCMALegislation that (SB 1014) passed out of the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government would create new powers for independent drugstores to charge employers, seniors and unions higher prices for generic drugs, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

    The new legislation, along with a similar bill (HB 765), undermines the use of Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC) generic drug lists that employers and public programs use to prevent them from overpaying for generic drugs and could increase Florida’s prescription drug costs by $422.5 million annually.  MACs are necessary because generics — unlike brands — often have inflated manufacturer “list” prices that don’t reflect what a pharmacy actually spent to buy the drug. These MAC lists are widely used by large and small employers, unions, state employee health plans, Medicaid and other health plans.

    “Unfortunately for Florida’s employers, unions, government agencies, and consumers, this legislation will only increase what they pay for generic drugs,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “This increases independent drugstore profits at the expense of employers and consumers.”

    A recent analysis from the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) demonstrated “the significant value MAC programs have in containing Medicaid drug costs.” The OIG recommended that states strengthen MAC programs, not weaken them.

    The Florida legislature is also considering separate bills that undermine proven tools used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to lower prescription drug costs.  Restricting these tools could increase prescription drug costs by $12 billion over 10 years for the state’s employers, seniors, unions, and consumers.

    With the help of PBMs, Florida consumers, employers, unions, and the state government will save $97.5 billion in prescription drug costs over the next decade. PBMs accomplish this by:

    • Negotiating discounts from drugstores and drug manufacturers.
    • Offering home delivery of medicines.
    • Encouraging the use of generics and less expensive brands.
    • Using cutting-edge tools to improve medication adherence.
    • Improving quality and safety.

    PCMA represents the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 216 million Americans.

    Follow PCMA on Twitter

    SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

    CONTACT: Charles Coté, 202-207-3605; or Greg Lopes, 202-207-3614


  • Family Research Council Reacts to FDA’s Decision on Plan B Places Health of Young Girls at Risk

    WASHINGTON, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Anna Higgins, Family Research Council’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity released the following statement following the decision today by the Food and Drug Administration to make Plan B available over the counter to girls as young as 15 years old:

    “This decision shows an alarming lack of concern for the safety of young girls, the fundamental rights of parents, and concerns of the medical community.

    “The effects of taking a high dose of a systematically absorbed hormone during puberty are unknown. There have been no studies on the drug’s effect on young girls. OTC sales could encourage repeat use, which is unsafe. There is no good reason to believe that young girls understand that this drug is designed to be used only once per month and is not a substitute for oral contraception.

    “Over the counter availability of Plan B for teens distances those girls at highest risk for sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from the medical supervision they need. If Plan B is available OTC, teens and women will avoid necessary medical screenings during which serious medical problems like STIs would be detected and treated. A 2010 study out of the UK shows that the increased availability of Plan B to teens was followed by a spike in STI rates among that age group.

    “Additionally, this decision undermines the right of parents to make important health decisions for their young daughters. Parents have every right to be involved in any health decisions that affect their children. No parent wants his or her daughter exposed to a potentially dangerous medication without their consent. Instead of allowing unfettered access to potentially dangerous drugs to teens, parent-teen communication regarding the medical and moral issues involved with sexual behavior should be encouraged,” concluded Higgins.

     


  • Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)

    Patient assistance programs (PAPs) are usually sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and provide free or discounted medicines to low-to-moderate-income, uninsured and under-insured people who meet the guidelines. Eligibility and application requirements vary from program to program.

    Four easy steps to find PAPs on internet:

    a) PAPs are found by searching for the name of the medicine on a drug information site like www.pharmacydrugguide.com.

    b) Click on  drug’s name in the search results

    c) This will open a program page with contact information, medication dosages, application if available, eligibility criteria and other details of the PAP.

    d) If there are any questions at all, then call the program. Some programs will make exceptions to their eligibility criteria. The drugs offered and the program requirements change, so it may pay to call back from time to time.

    For more details on PAP you must visit

     


  • Drug Information: Mucinex

    Mucinex® is a brand name medication sold over the counter in most places. It actually comes in a couple of forms and there may be versions sold for children or products like Mucinex D®, which contains additional medicines. The standard type of this drug employs a medication called guaifenesin, which is also used in many other cough and cold medicines.

    The principal action of guaifenesin is to thin secretions in the throat and bronchi, allowing extra mucus to exit the airway. Essentially, it is an expectorant, which can help when cough or chest congestion are bad. One of the differences between Mucinex® and other cough medicines that use guaifenesin is that the guaifenesin is in an extended release formula.

    People normally only take this medicine twice daily, and might get the same amount of coverage they’d achieve taking many forms of Robitussin® four to six times a day. An added plus for many people is that this medication is sold in tablets instead of liquid, eliminating the “yucky medicine” factor that is associated with having to take cough syrup.Perhaps, one of the reasons that Mucinex® is popular is due to its low incidence of side effects. Most people don’t experience any significant side effects when they take this drug, except some may notice a small amount of dry mouth.

    Overall a good medicine and can be effective in several diseases.A worth mentioning fact is that free Mucinex may also be available as samples from various sources,which can be obtained through a patient’s doctor or healthcare provider. If you want to have more information,  then please visit http://www.pharmacydrugguide.com/Mucinex_Coupons