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Public Outcry Over Drug Costs Leads to Dialogue Between Health Insurers and Drug Makers

Prescription drug costs has emerged as one of the largest health care concerns facing Americans and consequently has become a prevalent topic among presidential candidates, lawmakers, and industry stakeholders. Health insurers and drug makers fundamentally have opposing interests. Generally, insurers are focused on securing affordable and sustainable drug costs and drug makers are focused on optimizing profitability. Pharmacies also have an interest in ensuring that cost containment mechanisms, such as...

Florida Passes HB 1049 Clarifying Veterinarians Ability to Dispense Compound Drugs

Florida's 2015 Legislative Session passed HB 1049, effective July 1, 2015, which clarifies that veterinarians are authorized to dispense compound drugs. Specifically, HB 1049 amends 465.0276 F.S. to state that the pharmacy statutes and regulations do not prohibit a veterinarian from administering a compounded drug to a patient (i.e. any animal for which the veterinarian practices veterinary medicine), or dispensing a compounded drug to the patient's owner or caretaker. This is...

AMA Holds Off on Setting Telemedicine Ethics Policy

Earlier this month, the American Medical Association House of Delegates chose to defer publication of guidelines for ethical practice in telemedicine at its 2015 Interim Meeting. The ethics policy is intended to provide standards for ensuring patient privacy and education, specifically with respect to the limitations of telemedicine, the need for coordinated care, and the importance of follow up treatment. Once published, physicians would be expected to abide by the guidelines...

Abbott Subpoenas Pharmacies’ Purchase Records for “Diverted” Freestyle Test Strips

Abbott Laboratories filed a 72 page complaint in federal court last month against diabetic test strip supply wholesalers, pharmacies, and pharmacists. The complaint alleges trademark infringement, fraud, racketeering, and unfair competition. The complaint alleges that the named Defendants distributed/dispensed Freestyle testing strips intended for the international market in the United States. In doing so, Abbott alleges that the named Defendants are selling and dispensing unapproved test strips to patients in...

Express Scripts Files Suit Against Drug Maker Linked with Allegedly Jacked-Up Prices

In the latest round of actions taken against pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies surrounding drug pricing and distribution models, the country's largest Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM), Express Scripts, has filed suit against drug maker Horizon Pharma Plc, alleging that Horizon Pharma breached a pharmaceutical manufacturer rebate agreement it had executed with the PBM. The suit, which was filed under seal in Delaware State Court, seeks over $140 million in damages. This suit...