National News
Senate Sends Trump Stopgap Spending Bill, Averting Shutdown
The Senate passed a temporary government-wide funding bill on Thursday that staves off the risk of a government shutdown through Nov. 21. The measure would buy additional time for lawmakers to work to unclog a $1.4 trillion bundle of yearly spending bills that is hung up amid fights over President Donald Trump's border wall and abortion. Those measures face a variety of obstacles, and it's not clear whether Congress will pass them.
By Taylor, Published in The Associated Press
Medicaid Drug Rebate Bill Heads To Trump's Desk
A bipartisan bill to help ensure drug companies don't overcharge taxpayers for drugs in the Medicaid program is headed to President Donald Trump's desk as part of the continuing resolution to fund the government through Nov. 21. The Fair and Accurate Medicaid Pricing Act, H.R. 3276 (116), cleared the Senate today as part of the continuing resolution. It is expected to save about $3.1 billion over the next decade by closing a loophole that allowed authorized generic drug prices to be used when calculating a brand drug's Medicaid rebates.
By Karlin-Smith, Published in PoliticoPro
KHN Files Lawsuit To Force Feds To Disclose Medicare Advantage Audits
Kaiser Health News is suing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to release dozens of audits that the agency says reveal hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharges by Medicare Advantage health plans. The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco under the Freedom of Information Act, seeks copies of 90 government audits of Medicare Advantage health plans conducted for 2011, 2012 and 2013 but never made public. CMS officials have said they expect to collect $650 million in overpayments from the audits. Although the agency has disclosed the names of the health plans under scrutiny, it has not released any other details.
By Schulte, Published In Kaiser Health News
Politics Threatens Drug Pricing Deal Between Congress, Trump
A congressional effort to reach a deal to lower prescription drug prices this year seemed on a path to derailment Wednesday amid political escalation on several fronts. House Republicans took a hard line against a major plan from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in the first committee hearing on her proposal to authorize government negotiation of certain high-priced drugs. Later in the afternoon, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) acknowledged his effort with ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to get their embattled proposal on the Senate floor may not happen this year.
By Luthi, Published In Modern Healthcare
The Associated Press: US Probe Of Vaping Illnesses Focuses On THC From Marijuana
U.S. health officials said Friday that their investigation into an outbreak of severe vaping-related illnesses is increasingly focused on products that contain the marijuana compound THC. Most of the 800 people who got sick vaped THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But officials said they didn't know if the THC is the problem or some other substance added to the vaping liquid, such as thickeners.
By Stobbe, Published by The Associated Press
Novartis Expands Recall Of Heartburn Meds To U.S. After Finding Carcinogen
After running tests, the Sandoz unit of Novartis (NVS) has expanded its recall of heartburn medicines containing ranitidine and is now pulling the products from the U.S. The move comes one week after the drug maker halted worldwide distribution of heartburn medicines and regulators in the U.S and Europe disclosed the capsules may contain high levels of a carcinogen. At the time, Sandoz also issued a recall in some European countries and Canada, but did not take the same step in the U.S. while testing was underway.
By Silverman, Published in Stat
State News

The Jolt: Tom Price Joins The Hunt For Georgia's Senate Seat
Former Health Secretary Tom Price entered the sweepstakes to be Georgia's next U.S. Senator by submitting his resume with Gov. Brian Kemp's office for the soon-to-be-vacated seat held by Johnny Isakson. Price, a former six-term congressman, confirmed to the AJC that he applied, making him the latest high-profile figure to formally seek the spot. Other applicants include U.S. Rep. Doug Collins and Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols - and many more are expected to join them.
By Bluestein and Hallerman, Published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution
'As Difficult As Possible': New Maryland Age Limit To Make It Tougher For Young Adults To Start Smoking
In an effort to prevent young people from getting hooked on tobacco and nicotine, Maryland is raising the age to buy cigarettes, cigars and vaping products to 21, effective Tuesday. ...Under the law, the minimum age for buying tobacco and nicotine products jumps from 18 to 21. The only exception is for members of the military, who can still buy at age 18 by showing a military identification - a concession that anti-smoking advocates made to get the law passed.
By Wood, Published in The Baltimore Sun
Board of Pharmacy Taking Applications for Drug Take-Back Program
The Missouri Board of Pharmacy is now accepting applications from pharmacies, hospitals, and other authorized stakeholders interested in participating in the Rx Cares for Missouri Medication Destruction and Disposal Program. The program will allow approved entities to host a prescription drug collection receptacle that may be used to collect controlled substances (CS). As part of the program, the receptacle and 12 required inner liners will be provided at no cost, and the Board will pay for the destruction of medication stored in the provided liners as outlined in the program requirements. Applications and an information guide for participants are available on the Board's website
Johnson & Johnson Appeals $572M Opioid Ruling
Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson is appealing an Oklahoma judge's $572 million order against the company and its subsidiaries for helping fuel the state's opioid crisis. The company filed an appeal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday, arguing the ruling was an "unprecedented interpretation of Oklahoma public nuisance law."
By Murphy, Published in The Associated Press
Delays USP <800> Implementation until 2021
The Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy will not start enforcing USP General Chapter <800> until July 1, 2021. Please note that this applies only to compounding pharmacies and other facilities handling hazardous drugs in Oklahoma. The state board members approved the USP <800> rules in March 2019, but informed board staff to not start enforcing them until July 1, 2021. Oklahoma pharmacies with any type of accreditation should check with the accreditation body to verify specific compliance deadlines. Oklahoma USP <800> rules can be found here.
For other states that are implementing USP <800> without delay, the implementation date is Dec. 1, 2019. Be sure to check with your state's board of pharmacy for implementation details. NCPA has developed a blank USP <800> risk assessment template, and a sample template for testosterone, to help you create your own risk assessments for each hazardous drug as required by USP <800>.
PFOA Board of Directors
Todd Pendergraft

Dirk Andrepont
David Spence
Doug Coyle

Gabriel Guijarro
Ty Stout
Phil Rigsby

Gaye Moseman
John Zuzak

Larry McIntosh

Eric Pusey 

PFOA-MS Board of Directors
Doug Coyle
David Cole

Phil Rigsby

PFOA-MC Board of Directors

Eric Pusey
Gene Windom
Bobbie Barbrey

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