National News
Pharma Execs Dig In For A Fight Against Outraged Senators
Senators got their first opportunity to prod drugmakers about the wallet-emptying prices they charge for prescription drugs.
Almost in unison, the executives expressed support for eliminating rebates that flow to industry middlemen instead of patients; for increasing transparency about how they set prices; for shifting to a more value-based pricing system, in which outcomes are rewarded. Together they demurred when asked to commit to lowering list prices on drugs like insulin and the blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira.
Kaiser Health News (edited)
FDA Plans Multifaceted Response To Opioid-Abuse Epidemic
The Food and Drug Administration plans new steps to combat the abuse of opioid painkillers, ranging from new dosage forms to small-quantity packaging and new research requirements on drugmakers. The new FDA measures are a further effort to stem the opioid-addiction crisis that has led to an estimated 47,000 opioid-painkiller overdose deaths in 2017 alone. The agency plans for the first time to require makers of opioid pain pills to conduct long-term studies of their drugs' long-term effectiveness. The FDA has long mandated studies about safety, but the testing for possible long-term loss of effectiveness is a new authority for the agency in a law passed by Congress last fall.
By Burton, Published in The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Senators Launch Bipartisan Probe Into Rising Insulin Prices
Two top U.S. senators launched an investigation into rising insulin prices on Friday, sending letters to the three leading manufacturers seeking answers as to why the nearly 100-year-old drug's cost has rapidly risen, causing taxpayers to spend millions of dollars a year. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Ron Wyden, the committee's top Democrat, sent letters to the heads of Eli Lilly and Co, Novo Nordisk A/S and Sanofi SA, the long-time leading manufacturers of insulin.
By Abutaleb, Published in Reuters
There's A New 'Medicare-For-All' Bill In The House. Why Does It Matter?
In many ways, the proposal sounds familiar: The government would establish a health plan that pays for basically all forms of medical care for all citizens. That's how it gets the moniker "Medicare-for-all." Under this plan, patients would not be responsible for any cost sharing of medical expenses, and the government coverage would include hospitals, doctors, preventive care, prescription meds and dental and vision care. Private insurers would not be allowed to sell plans that compete with the government program. Senior citizens would be folded into the new Medicare plan, which would be more generous than their current coverage, and the government would make sure any medical care they are getting is not disrupted. The bill leaves two other government health care payers intact: the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service.
By Luthra, Published in Kaiser Health News
Moderate Dems Revive Effort To Stabilize ObamaCare Markets
A group of moderate House Democrats will make a push this year to stabilize ObamaCare's markets, reviving an effort that fell to partisan bickering in 2017. The New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 101 centrists, says the House should "immediately" work with Republicans to bring down ObamaCare premiums and reverse the Trump administration's "sabotage" of the health care law.
By Hellmann, Published in The Hill
State News

Health Insurance: California Bills Would Reinstate Individual Mandate

Lawmakers in California have introduced bills that would reinstate the individual mandate, requiring all state residents to have health insurance starting in 2020 or pay a tax penalty. Identical bills introduced in the state Senate and Assembly are an attempt to reverse the revocation by Congress of the federal mandate that was part of the Affordable Care Act.
By Hayden, Published in the Palm Springs Desert Sun
90+ Legislators Sign on to Sponsor Anti-steering Bill
A bill usually gets moving with a handful of enthusiastic sponsors. But in Georgia, HB233, which will prohibit PBMs from steering patients to PBM-owned pharmacies, is a bit of an over-achiever. The bill has received an overwhelming number of sponsors. (Check out all the sponsors on the page.) Kudos to the Georgia Pharmacy Association for the bipartisan support it's built for its bill. Here's hoping this energy continues and the bill passes quickly. What a win for community pharmacists - and patients - in Georgia!
Northeast Georgia Health System Supports Ga. Senate Medicaid Bill
The Northeast Georgia Health System is supporting a Georgia Senate bill passed on Tuesday that would seek federal waivers to expand Medicaid coverage to more low-income residents. "Northeast Georgia Health System supports the efforts of Gov. Kemp and the Georgia General Assembly to pass Medicaid waiver legislation that will help cover health care services for more of our uninsured and indigent patients," Deb Bailey, executive director of governmental affairs at NGHS, told The Times in a statement. By Silavent, Published in The Gainesville Times
State Senator Wants Stricter Work Rules For Medicaid Recipients

A Republican state senator wants to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients that are stricter than those the state has proposed, arguing that people are leaving the workforce to claim the tax-funded health benefits. Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said, "There were folks who were working, and they had health insurance at work, but when the government said, 'We'll provide health insurance for you,' they left work, and, of course, those are able-bodied folks who were working."
By Candisky, Published in Columbus Dispatch
State seeks Repayment of Alleged Overcharge
Months after firing OptumRx, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Tuesday that the state wants the PBM to repay an alleged overcharge of nearly $16 million.
This is Ohio's first step to recover money from PBMs who do billions in business with state agencies. The state claims that OptumRx, which served as PBM for the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation, has overcharged millions since 2015. By contract, the matter will enter a mediation process. If mediation fails, the case would likely head to court.
Compounding Facility Prohibited From Manufacturing and Distributing Sterile Drug Products
The US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania entered a consent decree of permanent injunction between the US and Ranier's Rx Laboratory Inc (also known as Ranier's Compounding Laboratory) of Jeannette, PA. The decree prohibits Ranier's and its owner from manufacturing, holding, or distributing human or animal sterile drugs compounded at their facility until they comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as detailed in a press release posted to the FDA website.

The consent decree comes following a complaint filed by the US Department of Justice on behalf of FDA. It alleges that Ranier's manufactured and distributed purportedly sterile drug products, including injectable and ophthalmic drugs, that were adulterated because they were made under insanitary conditions.
From nabp e-News
PFOA Board of Directors
Todd Pendergraft

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Ron Robichaux
Vice President
Doug Coyle

Gabriel Guijarro
Ty Stout
Phil Rigsby

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John Zuzak

Larry McIntosh

Eric Pusey 

PFOA-MS Board of Directors
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John Zuzak

David Cole
Phil Rigsby

PFOA-MC Board of Directors
Eric Pusey
Vice President
Devin Trone
Bobbie Barbrey

For Board of Directors contact information, please call 314-843-5977