Very few drug plan providers left the Medicare market in 2007, but their offerings have shifted. There are fewer plans offering basic coverage and more offering enhanced coverage. Beneficiaries in most states have 50-60 prescription drug plans to consider including 15 or 16 that offer partial or complete coverage in the donut hole.
In a recently issued policy statement, the Drug Enforcement Administration proposed a new rule that would ease current restrictions on prescribing Schedule II controlled substances. Under the new rule, doctors will be able to prescribe 90-day supplies of Schedule II medications such as OxyContin (oxycodone, Purdue Pharma), methylphenidate HCl, and codeine. The public can submit comments about the new rules through Nov. 6.
A new era is coming for the Medicaid program—one that will spare the state and federal governments from overpaying for drugs and provide more pricing transparency to all parties involved.
The Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) set minimum federal standards for prescription drug coverage. Plans wanting to participate in the program could offer the standard benefit or a variation that was approved as actuarially equivalent by CMS. Most plans elected to modify the standard design with their own formularies and combination of enhanced benefits. Each plan sought the right combination of premium level, benefit package, formulary structure, and tiered co-pays that they believed would attract and keep an acceptable share of the market while generating a profit to the plan.
Washington State pharmacists are wondering if they are expected to be the penmanship police since a new law decrees that prescriptions in cursive handwriting are no longer considered to be legible.
Is technician training pharmacy's next divisive battle? It could be, if major retail employers and state pharmacy boards hold to their present courses.
The Florida Supreme Court recently added another brick to the increasingly solid legal wall of opinion that pharmacists have a duty to warn. The high court decision sent a lawsuit involving a drug overdose death against two pharmacies and a physician back to a lower court for trial.
When the Governor signed the legislation in May, New Hampshire became, by at least one count, the 41st state to permit pharmacists to enter collaborative practice agreements with physicians. But no one knows for sure how many pharmacists are taking advantage of the professional privilege.
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