PCMA President Mark Merritt: Pharmacy lock-in will save lives | Some common sense solutions to the opioid crisis | PCMA President Mark Merritt: Drug prices better with insurance
December 11, 2017
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PCMA President Mark Merritt: Pharmacy lock-in will save lives
Allowing Medicare Part D plans to limit pharmacy choices available to Medicare beneficiaries at risk for opioid use disorder would help save lives, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO Mark Merritt said. "The key to curbing 'drugstore shopping' for controlled substances is to stop improper prescriptions from being filled at the pharmacy counter in the first place," Merritt said.
Medscape (free registration) (12/8) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
PCMA President Mark Merritt: Drug prices better with insurance
While some outliers can be found, insurance coverage makes prescription drugs more affordable rather than less so, PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt said. "There are three to four billion generic scripts written a year, and in the vast majority of cases, they are going to get a better deal by using insurance," Merritt said.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/ProPublica (12/9) 
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HHS OIG seeing more safe harbor requests related to value-based drug contracts
A growing proportion of the requests for safe harbor received by HHS could affect value-based arrangements for prescription drugs, according to its Office of Inspector General's semi-annual report to Congress.
The Pink Sheet (subscription required) (12/10) 
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Calif. drug price law challenged by pharma association
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America sued to stop a new law in California that would require advance notice of 60 days to raise national wholesale drug prices above a particular level. Drugmakers claimed the law does not accurately reflect actual costs, which are often discounted, and that it would lead to stockpiling by pharmacies and other purchasers.
ABC News/The Associated Press (12/8) 
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Senators from both parties decry cuts to 340B program
Six senators, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, wrote to GOP leaders urging them to reverse cuts to the 340B drug discount program in the year-end spending bill. An earlier letter to the CMS expressing concerns over the cuts was signed by 51 senators.
The Hill (12/7) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
DTC drug ad industry gears up for tax deduction fight
The advertising industry is ready to fight congressional attempts to reduce or eliminate tax deductions for direct-to-consumer drug ads.
FiercePharma (12/11) 
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PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.

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