Latebreakers: August 7, 2006

August 7, 2006

According to a new report from the Institute of Medicine, medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people every year.

IOM report aims to reduce drug errors

New anti-HIV drug given FDA nod

FDA identifies 'useful written consumer drug information'

Under a law passed in 1996, pharmacies are required by 2006 to provide "useful written medication information" to at least 95% of consumers who receive new prescriptions. If pharmacists fail to meet this goal on their own, they will have to comply with regulations proscribed by the FDA. To help pharmacies determine what constitutes useful written consumer drug information, the agency issued a guidance, published in the July 18 Federal Register. For information, go to http://www.fda.gov/cder/guidance/7139fnl.pdf.

Pharmacist runs afoul of the law

Gerald "Max" Burleson, who owns five pharmacies and DME stores in Alabama, has agreed to pay $3.14 million to settle civil charges by the federal government that he paid kickbacks to get improper referrals to his businesses. In addition, he has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for criminal healthcare fraud and misbranding. He pleaded guilty to giving patients medications he had compounded, instead of the commercially available drugs that physicians had ordered.

NACDS, NCPA create coalition

NACDS and NCPA have joined forces to launch the Coalition for Community Pharmacy Action. CCPA intends to promote the various interests of community pharmacy from direct lobbying to research and strategic communications. Issues currently being addressed include reimbursement cuts in the Medicaid program, legislative corrections to the Medicare Part D drug benefit, and efforts to guarantee military health (TRICARE) beneficiaries the continued ability to obtain Rxs from their local pharmacies. Charles Sewell, NCPA's senior VP for government affairs, and Catherine Polley, R.Ph., VP of state government affairs for NACDS, will serve as co-presidents of the coalition.