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Affordable Care Act

Federal court blocks Aetna-Humana merger

WASHINGTON — A federal judge last month temporarily blocked Aetna Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Humana Inc. The move stemmed from a ruling on a lawsuit brought last year by the Justice Department to prevent the health insurers from merging on the grounds that the deal would produce higher prices for consumers and fewer services for

HHS nominee Tom Price faces scrutiny

WASHINGTON — Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon, a six-term Republican congressman from Georgia and a fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act, faced tough questions from Democrats about ethical issues and policy priorities during his confirmation hearing. But at presstime it appeared that he would be approved as Secretary of the Department of Health and

Transition to value-based care will proceed

Transition to value-based care will proceed

As the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) gears up for 2017, the outlook we envision consists of measuring what matters to patients, providers, plans and pharmacies. PQA has a rather unique role in the marketplace as a measure developer, and since our process is very inclusive and participatory, we have experienced a strong growth in our

Year of opportunity for OTC medicines

Year of opportunity for OTC medicines

The past year has brought much change, perhaps most evident in the recent national and local elections. As we welcome a new American president and Congress, the country is waiting to see how the regulatory and legislative landscape will evolve. But I am certain that one thing will not change: the continued importance of over-the-counter

2017 could be pivotal year for pharmacy care

2017 could be pivotal year for pharmacy care

I will spare you the introductory paragraph that attempts eloquence. Let’s get right to the point. In NACDS’ view, 2017 could be one of the most pivotal years in health care policy and in pharmacy patient care. NACDS not only is ready to advocate for pharmacy in this unprecedented environment; that vital work already is

Republicans in Congress set stage for repeal of ACA

Republicans in Congress set stage for repeal of ACA

WASHINGTON — Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives are aggressively pushing ahead with measures to repeal the Affordable Care Act despite the fact that they have no coherent alternative to replace it. Health care industry analysts and trade associations have warned that repealing or gutting the law without an adequate substitute could create

NACDS informs governors about value of Rx

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a letter to the governors of all 50 states urging pharmacy patient care as a top priority in any changes to health care policy in 2017 and beyond. The most recent letter continues NACDS’ pro-patient, pro-pharmacy drumbeat to federal and state government decision

ACA repeal will usher in period of uncertainty

ACA repeal will usher in period of uncertainty

After stumbling out of the gate early this month with an ill-conceived  bid to hamstring the Office of Congressional Ethics (a plan that roused a chorus of critics, including President-elect Donald Trump, and was quickly withdrawn), Republicans in the House, along with their colleagues in the Senate, regained their footing and set about the business

2017 Retail Forecast: Times Are A Changin’

2017 Retail Forecast: Times Are A Changin’

“The times they are a changin’,” Nobel laureate Bob Dylan sang in 1964. It’s as true now as it was 53 years ago, especially for the chain drug industry. With the incoming administration of Donald Trump, all bets are off with health care. The Affordable Care Act appears set for demise, but no one in

What the Trump administration portends for pharmacy

What the Trump administration portends for pharmacy

The January 20, 2017, inauguration of President Trump as the nation’s 45th president is certain to bring with it changes in the health care environment, which may impact pharmacy in a variety of ways. As important as the new administration, however, is the fact that a “unified” government will take over in Washington, with Republicans

Republicans talk about what will come after ACA

WASHINGTON — Republicans want to replace the Affordable Care Act with “universal access” to health care, House GOP members said. The goal is to ensure that everyone can buy or find coverage, a House leadership aide said at a briefing organized by top Republicans. The briefing came amid growing concern about the 20 million people

Pharmacy groups make case for pro-patient approach

WASHINGTON — Four pharmacy organizations, including the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, have asked the incoming White House administration and congressional leaders to maintain Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries’ pharmacy access. “Policies that reduce local pharmacy access lead to poorer health outcomes, ultimately resulting in increased future health care costs,” the associations wrote to President-elect

Rise in U.S. health care spending outpaces economic growth

WASHINGTON — Health care spending in the United States grew 5.8% to $3.2 trillion during 2015, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid ­Services (CMS). On a per capita basis, U.S. health care spending grew 5% to $9,990 per person. The overall increase exceeded the 5.5% rise projected by CMS

Pharmacy groups speak up with change coming in D.C.

Pharmacy groups speak up with change coming in D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sensing change in the air, a group of pharmacy associations have called on the incoming Trump administration and congressional leaders to recognize the role that pharmacies play in the nation’s health care system. In a letter to the new federal power structure, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), National Community