Weekend ICYMI: April 15 to April 19


In case you missed it, this week we had news about potential pharmacy unions, states' regulation of PBMs, rising insulin costs, and more.

CVS Pharmacists in Rhode Island Petition to Unionize

Nine pharmacists from 2 corporate CVS retail locations in Wakefield and Westerly, Rhode Island, have submitted petitions to the National Labor Relations Board to unionize with the Pharmacy Guild, motivated by the desire to improve working conditions for pharmacy professionals and optimize care for patients. A spokesperson from the Pharmacy Guild told USA Today that multiple CVS stores in Rhode Island and other states plan to file petitions in the coming weeks.

CVS storefront / jetcityimage - stock.adobe.com

CVS storefront / jetcityimage - stock.adobe.com

GAO Releases Report on States’ Regulation of PBMs

Recently, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have faced criticism for practices that many say disadvantage patients and independent pharmacies. This week, that scrutiny prompted investigation by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). Representatives from the office interviewed regulators from 5 states on PBM laws, finding that rules requiring drug-pricing transparency, pharmacy access, and licensure are in place across the country. Following the investigation, the GAO reported its findings to help the population better understand common PBM practices and regulation strategies.

Enhancing Patient-Pharmacist Relationships Through Conversation

While pharmacists can hear what patients say, truly listening can make a world of difference in providing quality care. When speaking with patients, pharmacists must show authentic interest and respect, express empathy, be direct, and validate concerns. By doing so, pharmacists can build trust with patients and generate better outcomes.

Stelara Biosimilar Ustekinumab-aekn Recieves FDA Approval

The FDA has approved ustekinumab (Stelara) biosimilar ustekinumab-aekn (Selarsdi) to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and active psoriatic arthritis in adults and children aged 6 years and older. This biosimilar approval marks the second for the strategic partnership between Alvotech and Teva; the first approval was adalimumab biosimilar AVT-2 (Simlandi), the tenth biosimilar product referencing adalimumab (Humira).

Judge Rules in Favor of Eli Lilly on Insulin Pricing Settlement

A settlement proposed for Eli Lilly to resolve $13.5 million in claims and cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 has fallen through because US District Judge Brian Martinotti was unable to approve a settlement class. His ruling is aligned with 9 states that expressed objections to the settlements approximately a year ago. This adds another hurdle to the ongoing legal fight, which began in 2017, against Eli Lilly’s rising insulin costs.

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