Blog

»  Posts By    

Pharmacy Membership Programs Offering Discounts May Be Legal According to a Recent OIG Opinion

In a recent advisory opinion, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) opined that a retail pharmacy chain, which also operates health care clinics, could offer discounts to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries without those discounts constituting prohibited remuneration. The retail pharmacy chain had asked the OIG if it would permit the pharmacy to operate a paid membership program ("Benefit Program") allowing participation by Federal health care program beneficiaries. The retail...

Galena Biopharma Agrees to Pay Over $7.55 million to the United States to Resolve TIRF REMS Kickback Allegations

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Galena Biopharma Inc. (Galena) has agreed to pay more than $7.55 million to resolve Civil False Claims Act allegations that they paid doctors kickbacks in order to induce them to prescribe its fentanyl-based drug Abstral. Based on a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower, the United States alleged that Galena paid multiple forms of kickbacks to doctors in order to get them to prescribe Abstral, a sublingual fentanyl tablet...

OptumRx initiates Opioid Restriction Program following Express Scripts and CVS Caremark’s Lead

OptumRx, a Pharmacy Benefit Manger (PBM) owned by United Healthcare, has implemented a new opioid restriction program with policies and procedures to curb opioid dispensing. According to the OptumRx website, "Opioid misuse and abuse is a national health crisis—drug addiction is now the leading cause of accidental death." Much like its PBM counterparts Express Scripts and CVS Caremark, OptumRx's new program places maximum fill limits on opioid therapy, regardless whether...

Express Scripts’ New Program Limiting Opioids Stirs Controversy Within the Physician Community

The nation's largest Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM), Express Scripts (ESI), has launched a new nationwide program that aims to curb opioid prescriptions that are both written by physicians and dispensed by pharmacies. This new ESI program has sparked comments by many physicians, including pain-management specialists, who claim that ESI's program usurps the clinical judgment of physicians for their patients.  ESI's program will limit patients who are new to opioid therapy...

New Jersey Pharmacists Are Given New Tools in the Form of an Old Drug to Combat Opioid Overdoses

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Opioids include both prescription drugs, such as Hydrocodone, Morphine, Percocet, and Oxycontin and illegal drugs such as Heroin. Both prescription opioids and heroin killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, which was more than any year on record. Although street-drugs are considered by the general public...