ECRM_1170x120_8-1-17

B. Douglas Hoey

Big move by Cigna accelerates health care realignment

Big move by Cigna accelerates health care realignment

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — Another blockbuster merger is adding momentum to the consolidation wave sweeping through the health care sector, and again crossing industry segments. Health insurer Cigna Corp. plans to acquire pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts in a $67 billion cash and stock deal. Under the agreement, unveiled earlier this month, Cigna will pay Express

Senators aim to quash pharmacy gag clauses

Senators aim to quash pharmacy gag clauses

WASHINGTON — A group of senators are sponsoring legislation to bring more prescription drug pricing transparency to the pharmacy counter. Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine), Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) and Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) yesterday introduced the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554) and the Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553), which would

NACDS weighs in on burdens associated with DIR fees

ARLINGTON, Va. — The “untenable” procedures around direct and indirect remuneration fees (DIR fees) can be righted with measures reducing costs for beneficiaries and the government, while promoting a more quality-driven health care system, says the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. NACDS expressed that message in comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid

Pharmacies feel the DIR fee pain

Pharmacies feel the DIR fee pain

Suffice it to say, community pharmacies are getting squeezed by retroactive DIR fees. That’s what the results of a survey from the National Community Pharmacists Association said. NCPA reported Friday that, because of retroactive direct and indirect remuneration fees, 84% of independent pharmacy owners polled said they don’t know what their final reimbursement will be at

As flu spreads, Tamiflu at issue

As flu spreads, Tamiflu at issue

Without a doubt, pharmacies of all stripes are being challenged in this busy flu season, as the number of cases nationwide continues to escalate. Just go to any drug store, and you’ll likely see a queue at the pharmacy counter and a steady flow of concerned-looking people entering and exiting the cold/cough medicine aisles. This

Patients, not PBMs, should choose pharmacy

Patients, not PBMs, should choose pharmacy

WASHINGTON — In recent testimony before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey said pharmacists can drive better health outcomes and reduce costs, but first pharmacy benefit managers’ problematic business practices must be addressed through legislative and regulatory channels. As an

Community pharmacy shows its resiliency

Community pharmacy shows its resiliency

Community pharmacy owners occupy a critical position in the pharmacy marketplace and, even more importantly, as health care providers in communities across the country. Most stakeholders in the profession understand the vital marketplace check and balance that independent businesses provide. If only two or three megachain drug stores existed, negotiations with payers would look very

New tax code eliminates ACA individual mandate

New tax code eliminates ACA individual mandate

WASHINGTON — The individual mandate is no more. The requirement under the Affordable Care Act that people pay a penalty if they do not obtain health insurance was eliminated in the federal tax overhaul passed by Congress. After the Senate approved the tax reform legislation 51-48, Trump tweeted, “Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare) Repealed.” He signed

NCPA CEO urges federal action on PBMs

NCPA CEO urges federal action on PBMs

 At a health subcommittee hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee, B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), called for legislative and regulatory action on pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) business practices to help rein in prescription drug costs. The hearing, titled “Examining the Drug Supply Chain”

Former Lilly exec Alex Azar tabbed to head HHS

Former Lilly exec Alex Azar tabbed to head HHS

WASHINGTON — Biopharmaceutical industry executive Alex Azar has been nominated as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fill the post vacated by Tom Price. Azar is currently founder and chairman of Seraphim Strategies LLC, an Indianapolis-based consultancy focused on the biopharma and health insurance industries, including biopharmaceutical sales, marketing, pricing,

Independent drug stores hold their own in Rx market

Independent drug stores hold their own in Rx market

More often than not, independent drug stores are overshadowed by the big retail chains. While it’s understandable why individual pharmacists who own one or two locations do not receive the same level of attention as the top pharmacy operators, the largest of which each have thousands of stores across the United States, in the aggregate

President’s opioid crisis commission issues report

President’s opioid crisis commission issues report

WASHINGTON — The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has issued its final report, which includes 56 recommendations to the Trump administration to help fight opioid abuse. President Donald Trump formed the presidential commission, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R.), in a March 29 executive order as a way

Independent pharmacies keep care at forefront

Independent pharmacies keep care at forefront

ORLANDO, Fla. — Despite pharmaceutical market changes pressuring their businesses, independent pharmacies remain a mainstay care destination for millions of Americans, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2017 NCPA Digest. NCPA said Monday that its annual benchmarking survey, sponsored by Cardinal Health Inc., finds that independent community pharmacies continue to broaden their scope of

NCPA stands up for independents in tax reform debate

NCPA stands up for independents in tax reform debate

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With tax reform now topping the congressional and Trump administration agendas, the National Community Pharmacists Association is speaking up on behalf of independent pharmacies. NCPA said Tuesday that it has sent a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), chairman

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