DEA takes additional steps to allow increased production of controlled substances used in COVID-19 care
Added: 04-07-2020

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced today that it is increasing Aggregate Production Quotas available to pharmaceutical manufacturers for the production of controlled substance medications that are in high demand due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. DEA will also approve increases in imports of medications necessary for patients on ventilators.

“DEA is committed to ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply of critical medications during this public health emergency,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This will ensure that manufacturers can increase production of these important drugs, should the need arise.”

Link to the full story>>

Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment
Added: 03-02-2020

CDC continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the United States and around the world. CDC has taken early and aggressive actions to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the United States, through a combination of proven public health actions.

At the same time, CDC is preparing for the possibility that the COVID-19 situation in the U.S. could become more serious, with sustained community transmission, and is taking steps to make sure there are enough supplies and appropriate guidance to prevent spread of disease, especially among healthcare personnel caring for patients with COVID-19.

Link to the full story>>

New Rules for Remote Patient Monitoring
Added: 11-05-2019

Hospitals and health systems will see Medicare reimbursement for more remote patient monitoring services, according to finalized guidelines recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In its final rule on Chronic Care Remote Physiologic Monitoring, CMS has expanded the reimbursement plateau for RPM services delivered “incident to” general supervision, and has added a new code – 99458 – for patients receiving an additional 20 minutes of mHealth services in a given month.

Link to the full story>>

Specialty Drugs May Drive Higher Out-of-Pocket Costs
Added: 02-05-2019

Despite efforts to ease cost burden for Medicare Part D beneficiaries, high out-of-pocket costs for specialty tier drugs continue to be a concern for patients without low-income subsidies.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis points to the high out-of-pocket cost burden for Medicare enrollees taking specialty medications, with some expected to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket for a single specialty tier drug in 2019. For the majority of these medications, costs will occur above the catastrophic threshold, translating to $5444 in out-of-pocket costs in the catastrophic phase alone.

Link to the full story>>

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Added: 09-17-2018

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Link to the full story>>

FDA announces voluntary recall of Montelukast tablets
Added: 09-16-2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers and health care professionals about a voluntary recall of one lot of Montelukast Sodium Tablets – lot number MON17384, expiration 12/31/2019 – by Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Piscataway, N.J. Sealed bottles labeled as montelukast sodium tablets, 10 milligram, 30-count bottle from Camber were found to instead contain 90 tablets of Losartan Potassium Tablets, 50 mg.

Link to the full story>>

Executive Order Controlling Prescription Drug Prices
Added: 01-21-2016

President Barack Obama will sign an executive order that will limit what pharmaceutical companies can charge, Congressman Charles Rangel, the dean of New York City’s congressional delegation, announced Tuesday night.

At a town hall in East Harlem, Mr. Rangel, a Democrat, expressed sympathy with a constituent who complained of the high cost of her medication. He blamed manufacturers, who he argued act as a cartel and artificially inflate prices, with the knowledge Medicare will pay whatever they ask.

“These people come together, they arbitrarily, unilaterally, set a price, and the price is based not on people’s ability to pay, but just how much money can they make off of the job? Knowing that in most cases, it’s the federal government’s paying for it,” he said “So they’re really stealing out of everybody’s pocket.”

Link to the full story>>

DEA, Following FDA Recommendation, to Toughen Regulation on Painkillers
Added: 08-21-2014

In a long-anticipated move, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced it will now regulate all hydrocodone combination products as Schedule II drugs under federal law.

The move follows an October 2013 recommendation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which also recommended that the drugs be regulated as Schedule II products under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), a 1970 law which places controls on substances known to be dangerous, prone to abuse or lacking medically-accepted uses.

Link to the full story>>

DSI / PSS Customers Welcome!
Added: 09-11-2013

McKesson has made a decision to halt it's physician / clinic-based dispensing programs currently available through PSS (PSS Medical World) and DSI (Dispensing Solutions Inc). These changes do not seem to impact their oncology practices.

There are many rumors going around as to why this has happened, including rumors about pressure from CVS, but it has left their existing customers in a bind.

DrDispense is pleased to announce a program to migrate existing customers to the DrDispense platform and services. Please contact DrDispense Sales at 800-799-1580 x102 for information and our DSI special pricing!

DrDispense is a leading provider of in-house dispense technology solutions. Include Rx claims adjudication, work-comp, cash, and other innovative pricing models.

Link to the full story>>

FL State Committee compromise on fee schedule reduction
Added: 04-24-2013

A Senate committee Tuesday is expected to take up a proposal that could resolve a long-running fight about the costs of drugs dispensed by doctors to workers-compensation insurance patients.

Sen. Alan Hays has filed an amendment to SB 662 that spells out a potential compromise. Business groups have complained in recent years that high costs for doctor-dispensed drugs increase workers compensation insurance premiums. But their past attempts to limit the costs have run into opposition from physicians and a South Florida company, Automated HealthCare Solutions, that supplies dispensing-related technology to doctors.

Physicians contend that dispensing medications in their offices is more convenient for patients and helps ensure that prescriptions get filled and taken. The proposed amendment, which is slated to go before the Senate Appropriations Committee, would create new fee limits for doctors who dispense the medications — but those limits would be higher than what pharmacies are allowed to charge.

Link to the full story>>

Walgreen clinics to begin treating chronic illnesses
Added: 04-04-2013

Walgreen Co. has expanded the reach of its drugstore clinics beyond treating ankle sprains and sinus infections to handling chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.

The company, based in Deerfield, Ill., said Thursday that most of its 370 in-store Take Care Clinics now will diagnosis, treat and monitor patients with some chronic conditions that are typically handled by doctors.

Drugstore clinics, which are run by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, have grown popular in recent years as a convenient way for patients to get immunizations, physicals and treatment for relatively minor illnesses when their regular doctor is unavailable. But the clinics have been broadening their scope of care: Walgreen's decision follows a move by CVS Caremark Corp. a few years ago to handle chronic conditions at most of its 640 Minute Clinics.

Link to the full story>>

UPS becomes enforcement arm for DEA
Added: 04-01-2013

The U.S. is targeting America's two biggest shipping companies, FedEx Inc. FDX -0.43% and United Parcel Service Inc., UPS -1.66% as part of an expanding crackdown against illegal sales of prescription painkillers.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been probing whether the companies aided and abetted illegal drug sales from online pharmacies for several years, according to company filings, although the investigation has gone largely unnoticed. Both companies were served with subpoenas starting more than four years ago, according to their disclosures.

The probe now appears to be reaching a head. In an interview, FedEx's in-house counsel and a spokesman said the company has been informed by the Justice Department that it could soon face criminal charges. The company said it was innocent and planned to vigorously fight any charges.

Link to the full story>>

Panel prods FDA to restrict hydrocodone, ingredient in prescription painkillers
Added: 01-31-2013

(CNN) -- An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday voted 19-10 to recommend placing tighter restrictions on hydrocodone, an ingredient found in popular prescription drugs including Vicodin, Norco and Lortab.

If the panel's advice is adopted by FDA, it would put hydrocodone on par with prescription painkillers like oxycodone, morphine, and methadone -- drugs with high abuse potential that can lead to severe physical dependence.

With its vote, the advisory panel is suggesting that hydrocodone be moved from its current classification as a Schedule III drug -- a drug with moderate abuse potential -- to a more restrictive Schedule II classification.

Link to the full story>>

CA State attorney general seeks money for prescription database
Added: 01-27-2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A system that tracks prescription drugs and has assisted in several celebrity death investigations is in jeopardy of ending, prompting California's top law enforcement official to seek new funding.

The state created the nation's first prescription drug monitoring program in 1939 and shifted to a computerized database in 1997. The online system tracks prescriptions written by doctors and filled by pharmacies.

It also has been used in recent years in the death investigations of Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith and actor Corey Haim, among others.

Link to the full story>>

Plan B vending machine
Added: 01-26-2013

Jan. 24--SHIPPENSBURG -- An official with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week the agency will take no regulatory action against Shippensburg University for selling Plan B from a vending machine.

"FDA looked at publicly available information about Shippenburg (University's) vending program and spoke with university and campus health officials and decided not to take any regulatory actions," Erica Jefferson, deputy director of the FDA office of public affairs, said in an email to Public Opinion. A vending machine out of which SU students can buy the Plan B One Step emergency contraceptive for $25 became national news after Public Opinion reported on it almost a year ago.

Plan B is "birth control you can use to prevent pregnancy up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex" according to the Planned Parenthood website.

Link to the full story>>

Physicians take lead role in confronting opioid misuse, but still face hurdles
Added: 12-26-2012

Since 2000, overdose deaths due to prescription painkillers in Utah have increased by more than 400 percent. By 2006, more Utahans were losing their lives to prescription drug overdoses than to motor vehicle crashes. For Dr. Lynn Webster, a longtime pain management physician, the startling numbers were a call to action. He knew that if physicians didn’t take the lead in reducing the risk of opioid-related abuse and overdose, others surely would — and a misguided or unbalanced approach could be disastrous for people living with chronic pain.

So the Utah doctor co-founded LifeSource, a nonprofit dedicated to finding solutions to the opioid problem, and began his research to find evidence-based approaches to reduce risk and prevent overdoses. His research and efforts would eventually become a centerpiece of the statewide Use Only As Directed campaign, which the Utah Department of Health launched in 2008. The campaign had two main approaches: public education and physician education. The physician education component reached more than 500 Utah doctors and “we immediately began to see a difference,” Webster said. In the years following the health department campaign, opioid-related deaths declined nearly 28 percent. Unfortunately, after funding for the campaign was cut in 2010, the death rate started to climb back up.

Link to the full story>>

FL - Narcotics database could run out of money next year
Added: 10-08-2012

One year after taking effect, a statewide prescription drug database could be in jeopardy.

The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) aims to track down doctor shoppers and physicians who over-prescribe narcotics. But its funding, currently made up of grants and private donations, could run out in January.

Link to the full story>>

New York Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Sparks Debate
Added: 06-11-2012

A proposal to implement a prescription drug monitoring program in New York State has sparked a debate between legislators and two health care professional associations, Forbes reports.

The Internet System for Tracking Overprescribing (I-STOP) bill, proposed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last year, would require doctors to search patients’ medical histories for patterns of drug abuse before they write a new prescription for controlled substances. Pharmacists would have to check the database before dispensing painkillers, the article notes.

Link to the full story>>

FDA approves generic versions of blood thinner Plavix
Added: 05-18-2012

Release date- 17052012 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved generic versions of the blood thinning drug Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate), which helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by making it less likely that platelets in the blood will clump and form clots in the arteries.

Clopidogrel is FDA-approved to treat patients who have had a recent heart attack or a recent stroke, or have partial or total blockage of an artery (peripheral artery disease).

Link to the full story>>

Update: Acetaminophen 325mg
Added: 05-11-2012

In January of 2011 the FDA notified healthcare professionals that it asked drug manufacturers to limit the strength of acetaminophen in prescription drug products, predominantly combinations of acetaminophen and opioids, to 325 mg per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit, making these products safer for patients. This action is meant to help reduce the risk of severe liver injury and allergic reactions associated with acetaminophen.

FDA Notice     FDA Video

We are now seeing the impact of these changes as Vicodin is highly unavailable. This will impact Lortab and Lorcet and as well.

Customer support can help you transition your products to the 325mg alternatives such as Norco and Vicoprofen.

Link to the full story>>

Non-adherence Linked to Unnecessary Hospital Visits
Added: 05-11-2012

ATLANTA, May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Older patients with high cholesterol or high blood pressure are at particular risk for unnecessary hospitalizations if they don't follow doctor's orders on taking their medications, according to new research from Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) presented this week.

Data from two studies show that patients 65 and older who did not take their medicines as prescribed had around a 30 percent higher risk of hospitalization for cardiovascular disease when compared to patients who took their medications as prescribed. The two studies were presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Link to the full story>>

Counterfeit Version of Avastin in U.S. Distribution
Added: 04-04-2012

FDA sends letters to 19 medical practices about counterfeit product and other unapproved cancer medicines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning health care professionals and patients about a counterfeit version of Avastin 400mg/16mL, which may have been purchased and used by some medical practices in the United States. Avastin is an injectable medicine used to treat cancer and is administered to patients in clinics, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. The counterfeit version of Avastin does not contain the medicine’s active ingredient, bevacizumab, which may have resulted in patients not receiving needed therapy.

In a related action, FDA has issued letters to 19 medical practices in the United States that purchased unapproved cancer medicines that may include the counterfeit Avastin. The counterfeit version is labeled as Avastin, manufactured by Roche. Roche is the company that manufactures Avastin approved for marketing outside of the United States.

Roche conducted laboratory tests that confirmed the counterfeit version of Avastin. Packages or vials may be counterfeit if they:

are labeled with Roche as the manufacturer
display batch numbers that start with B6010, B6011 or B86017

Link to the full story>>

Study says EHRs won’t cut healthcare costs
Added: 03-13-2012

The potential for health IT to cut costs for both providers and patients has been a major justification for the government’s push to encourage EHR adoption. However, a new study claims health IT systems may not actually lower the cost of care.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Health Affairs. The gist of the results: Doctors using computer systems to track tests such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging ordered more tests than doctors who rely on paper records.

Link to the full story>>

Fakes Infiltrate Injectable Drugs
Added: 02-15-2012

News that a counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin was found in the U.S. highlights a rising threat: fakes of costly injectable therapies, rather than simple pills, such as Viagra.

The Food and Drug Administration recently alerted doctors and other health-care providers about the risk of "non-FDA-approved injectable cancer medications," including unauthorized versions of Herceptin, Rituxan and Neupogen, that were being marketed and sold to clinics and "most likely were administered to patients."

Link to the full story>>

Pain Clinics: Pharmacies Deny Pain Meds to Patients
Added: 02-02-2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Florida Society of Pain Management Providers ( ) is greatly concerned that rising rates of chronic pain patients throughout the state of Florida are being denied their prescribed medications by pharmacists without any legitimate reason.

It should be clear that pharmacies or pharmacists should not be condemned for conducting due diligence as many provide great service and care. However, it is unfortunate that many others have turned away from their duty to the patients in their community by adopting draconian standards and exclusivity with regard to certain patients. We commend those pharmacists that have risen above the government intimidation / witch hunt rhetoric and continued to treat pain patients with the respect and dignity all are entitled too.

Link to the full story>>

Florida Legislature targets repackaged drug costs
Added: 01-30-2012

Reimbursements for repackaged or relabeled prescription drugs add an estimated $62 million in annual costs to Florida's workers' comp system, according to NCCI. With that in mind, lawmakers are considering legislation that would close what supporters call a legal loophole that allows for the higher prices, possibly reducing system costs by 2.5 percent.

State law allows reimbursement for prescription drugs as the average wholesale price plus a $4.18 dispensing fee, or contract rate, whichever is lower. Repackaged drugs, on the other hand, are pharmaceuticals purchased in bulk by drug repackagers and then assigned a different AWP, "which is often substantially higher than the manufacturer's AWP," according to a legislative summary of H.B. 511. "As such, the cost for a prescription filled with repackaged drugs in the workers' compensation system is generally much higher than it would have been if the prescription had been filled with the same drug that had not been repackaged."

Link to the full story>>

Prescription Pain Pills Mixed with OTC Drugs from Novartis
Added: 01-16-2012

The Food and Drug Administration is warning patients about a potential mix-up between powerful prescription pain drugs and common over-the-counter medications made at a Novartis manufacturing plant.

The issue stems from manufacturing problems at a Lincoln, Neb., facility which triggered a recall Sunday of 1,645 lots of Novartis’ over-the-counter drugs, including Excedrin, Bufferin, NoDoz and Gas-X. The company has received hundreds of complaints of broken and chipped pills and inconsistent bottle packaging that could cause pills to be mixed up. Consumers are advised to stop using the products and contact the company for a refund.

Link to the full story>>

Doctors going broke
Added: 01-09-2012

Doctors in America are harboring an embarrassing secret: Many of them are going broke.

This quiet reality, which is spreading nationwide, is claiming a wide range of casualties, including family physicians, cardiologists and oncologists.

Industry watchers say the trend is worrisome. Half of all doctors in the nation operate a private practice. So if a cash crunch forces the death of an independent practice, it robs a community of a vital health care resource.

"A lot of independent practices are starting to see serious financial issues," said Marc Lion, CEO of Lion & Company CPAs, LLC, which advises independent doctor practices about their finances.

Link to the full story>>

CVS won't fill prescriptions for narcotics
Added: 12-02-2011

In the latest attempt to crack down on Florida's pain pill epidemic, CVS pharmacies have told some doctors that they no longer will fill their prescriptions for widely abused narcotic medications.

"CVS Pharmacy Inc. has become increasingly concerned with escalating reports of prescription drug abuse in Florida, especially oxycodone abuse," read the letter sent to a Florida pain specialist and provided to the St. Petersburg Times.

"We regret any inconvenience that this action may cause. However, we take our compliance obligations seriously and find it necessary to take this action at this time," the letter concludes.

While it's unclear how many doctors have received similar notices, the pain management community is buzzing about the development. The Florida Academy of Pain Medicine sent out an email alert with the letter that was sent to a Central Florida physician, one of its members, blacking out his name.

Link to the full story>>

Cholesterol Drug Lipitor Prepares for Fadeout
Added: 11-07-2011

It may take a breakthrough treatment for Alzheimer's disease to match the $130 billion lifetime sales record of Pfizer's Lipitor, the cholesterol fighter that wrote its own chapter in pharmaceutical history.

Lipitor's U.S. patent expires on November 30, unleashing a wave of cheap generics and ending a fabled run that began in 1997.

Link to the full story>>

When professional courtesy could get physicians in trouble
Added: 09-19-2011

More likely than not, a physician or a dentist has at one point provided discounted or free healthcare services to some patients by waiving all or part of a fee or the copayment and/or coinsurance obligations as a “professional courtesy.” According to the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Compliance Program For Individual and Small Group Physician Practices guidelines, however, this practice may expose a physician to an investigation.

To be sure, not all professional courtesy discounts or free services are taboo. The OIG’s guidelines provide that, in general, whether a professional courtesy arrangement runs afoul of the fraud and abuse laws is determined by two factors: (i) how the recipients of the professional courtesy are selected; and (ii) how the professional courtesy is extended. The OIG specifies that:

If the recipients are selected in a manner that directly or indirectly takes into account their ability to affect past or future referrals, the anti-kickback statute [criminal statute]–which prohibits giving anything of value to generate Federal health care program business-may be implicated. If the professional courtesy is extended through a waiver of copayment obligations (i.e.,“insurance only” billing), other statutes may be implicated, including the prohibition of inducements to beneficiaries. Claims submitted as a result of either practice may also implicate the civil False Claims Act. [citation omitted]

Link to the full story>>

Doctor Fees Major Factor in Health Costs, Study Says
Added: 09-09-2011

WASHINGTON — Doctors are paid higher fees in the United States than in several other countries, and this is a major factor in the nation’s higher overall cost of health care, says a new study by two Columbia University professors, one of whom is now a top health official in the Obama administration.

“American primary care and orthopedic physicians are paid more for each service than are their counterparts in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom,” said the study, by Sherry A. Glied, an assistant secretary of health and human services, and Miriam J. Laugesen, an assistant professor of health policy at Columbia.

Link to the full story>>

Express Scripts buying Medco for $29.1B
Added: 07-22-2011

The top two U.S. companies managing prescription drug benefits are uniting in a $29.1 billion deal they say will help achieve key goals of the health care overhaul: reining in costs and improving patients' health.

Express Scripts Inc. announced an agreement Thursday to buy rival Medco Health Solutions Inc. Together, they would handle the prescriptions of about 135 million people, more than one in three Americans.

That will give them even more clout in demanding discounts from drugmakers, who are dealing with falling or stagnant revenue as an unprecedented number of blockbuster drugs taken daily by millions is getting cheaper generic competition.

Link to the full story>>

U.S. Senate bill designed to alert FDA to potential drug shortages
Added: 06-30-2011

The unprecedented level of drug shortages has captured the attention of federal lawmakers, prompting some, including Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., to support legislation to stop the dearth.

The Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medicines Act was introduced Feb. 7 and sponsored by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Bob Casey, D-Pa. It would increase the authority of the Food and Drug Administration to address the problem.

The legislation would require prescription drug manufacturers to notify the FDA early on of any incident that would likely result in a drug shortage. Such circumstances might include changes to raw material supplies, adjustments to manufacturer production capabilities and certain business decisions such as mergers, withdrawals or changes in output.

Link to the full story>>

Drug Makers Replace Reps With Digital Tools
Added: 06-17-2011

Big pharmaceutical companies have found replacements for the army of sales representatives they've laid off in recent years: digital sales tools that seek to sell doctors on drugs without the intrusion of an office visit.

Tens of thousands of pharmaceutical sales reps have been eliminated in the U.S., creating a void that drug makers are now increasingly filling with websites, iPad apps and other digital tools to interact with doctors who prescribe their treatments.

Doctors can use the tools to ask questions about drugs, order free samples and find out which insurers cover certain treatments. Sometimes drug-company representatives will engage them in live chat, or phone them back if they have more questions.

Link to the full story>>

FL Gov. Rick Scott signs pill mill bill into law
Added: 06-07-2011

After initially fighting one of its key provisions, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday aimed at cracking down on clinics that frivolously dispense pain pills, feeding a nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic.

"Florida will shed its title as the Oxy Express," Scott said at a bill signing ceremony in Tampa.

The signing ended what had been a hard-fought political battle over how to stop an epidemic that kills an estimated seven Floridians daily.

Link to the full story>>

Illinois passes work comp reform bill
Added: 06-02-2011

The Illinois House passed major work comp reform legislation, legislation that will dramatically affect workers' comp providers, significantly reduce medical cost, and tighten up several key issues related to claim duration.

While most are focusing on the 30% reduction to the fee schedule (currently set at 80% of the 90th percentile of Ingenix' UCR), the major change will likely be the institution of employer direction in a state long tied to employee freedom of choice. The bill - HB1698 - allows employers to use medical networks that are approved by the state Department of Insurance, a change that will dramatically alter the provider landscape, greatly strengthening networks' ability to contract at rates lower than the fee schedule. While the new law will allow employees to opt out of the network at the time of injury, they have to do so in writing.

Link to the full story>>

Studies: Missed meds could cost more than $250B a year
Added: 06-01-2011

Americans may waste as much as $258 billion a year by not taking prescribed medications because the missed doses lead to emergency room visits, doctors' visits and in-patient hospitalizations, according to a study by Express Scripts, an independent prescription- filling company.

A second study conducted by CVS Caremark, Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital cited $290 billion in waste. Both studies looked at data from their own customers, insurance payouts, previous research and survey data. The CVS study also included productivity losses.

Link to the full story>>

FTC Should Consider Drug Production Capacity
Added: 05-23-2011

WASHINGTON - Today U.S. Senator Herb Kohlsent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz urging the FTC to consider the impact pharmaceutical company consolidation has on the nation's limited drug supply. Prompted by recent news reports that doctors and hospitals are struggling with an "unprecedented surge in drug shortages in the United States," Kohl suggested that the industry's capacity to produce vital medicines might have been hampered by a decade of industry consolidation. Kohl serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, which has oversight authority over the FTC.

Link to the full story>>

California to tighten restrictions on some pharmacy goods
Added: 04-22-2011

Existing law provides that it is unlawful for a physician to refer a person for specified medical goods or services, whether for treatment or medical-legal purposes, if the physician or his or her immediate family has a financial interest with the person or in the entity that receives the referral. A violation of this provision is a misdemeanor.

This bill would add pharmacy goods, as defined, to the list of medical goods or services for which it is unlawful for a physician to refer a person under this provision, except in prescribed circumstances. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Link to the full story>>

Doctor Dispense receives Surescripts certification
Added: 03-16-2011

Doctor Dispense is pleased to announce the release of the DPS® dispensing platform. The DPS platform is now Surescripts® certified for new prescriptions, prescription refill requests, and prescription refill responses. Providing the most complete end-to-end physician dispensing solution on the market. Click below to read more.

Link to the full story>>

Pharmacists rally for tougher e-prescribing rules
Added: 02-27-2011

WASHINGTON – The country's community pharmacists are calling on the government to strengthen e-prescribing requirements, arguing the standards are too low.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) testified Monday at a workgroup of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee Information Exchange on the experiences of independent community pharmacies in accepting e-prescriptions from physicians.

"Community pharmacists have a vested interest in making e-prescribing work because it potentially provides more accurate and faster electronic transmittal to pharmacists of computerized prescription information than written prescriptions," said Bruce T. Roberts, NCPA executive vice president and CEO. "However, challenges remain in the adoption and implementation of this technology, which is why I hope our recommendations to the Information Workgroup and the HIT Policy Committee are ultimately embraced."

Link to the full story>>

Come see us at the 2011 HiMSS Conference
Added: 02-21-2011

Please visit us at the HiMSS Conference February 21st to the 23rd, 2011 in Orlando, FL . We are presenting our e-prescribing integration with our EHR/PMS partner OmniMD.

Visit us at booth 352.

Link to the full story>>

Georgia Work Comp reduces pharmacy fee schedule
Added: 02-09-2011

The Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation has announced that effective April 1, 2011, all pharmaceutical bills submitted for repackaged products will be reimbursed based on the manufacturer NDC and AWP published by the Medispan database.

Brand medications will be allowed but must be hand signed by the physician with a dispense as written or brand medically necessary designation.

Link to the full story>>

In-house Dispensing for Your Practice
Added: 01-20-2011

For Sierra Pacific Orthopaedic & Spine Medical Group, a Doctor Dispense customer, the decision to introduce in-house dispensing last year was a no-brainer. The 19-physician specialty group in Fresno, Calif., already offered X-rays, MRIs, and physical therapy services to its patients. Prescription medication dispensing was the final piece of the one-stop shop puzzle — and this service was particularly important to many of the practice's elderly patients who must arrange for transportation to and from their appointments. The potential income it could generate for the practice, of course, was also an incentive.

Link to the full story>>

PSS buys Dispensing Solutions
Added: 01-20-2011

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Medical products distributor PSS World Medical Inc. said Thursday it paid an undisclosed amount for privately-held Dispensing Solutions Inc., which markets medical software for dispensing programs in the point of care, government, and contract packaging markets.

Dispensing Solutions, which is based in Santa Ana, Calif., has about 90 employees and is projected to generate about $30 million in annual revenue.

PSS, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., distributes medical products to physicians and elder care providers nationwide.

Shares of PSS rose 25 cents to $23.11 in afternoon trading.

Link to the full story>>

The latest in botulinum toxin (botox) therapy now available!
Added: 01-18-2011

DrDispense is please to announce the availability of Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA), the latest contender in a growing list of botulinum toxin (Botox) type A injectables.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xeomin in August 2010 for use in adults with cervical dystonia and blepharospasm. Xeomin requires no refrigeration unlike Botox and Dysport.

Click here to contact our sales team and learn more about this product.

Link to the full story>>

Acetaminophen Prescription Products Limited to 325 mg Per Dosage Unit: Drug Safety Communication
Added: 01-13-2011

AUDIENCE: Pharmacy, Pain Management

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that it has asked drug manufacturers to limit the strength of acetaminophen in prescription drug products, predominantly combinations of acetaminophen and opioids, to 325 mg per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit, making these products safer for patients. This action will help to reduce the risk of severe liver injury and allergic reactions associated with acetaminophen. A Boxed Warning highlighting the potential for severe liver injury and a Warning highlighting the potential for allergic reactions (swelling of the face, mouth, and throat, difficulty breathing, itching, or rash) will be added to the label of all prescription drug products that contain acetaminophen.

Link to the full story>>

Death resulting from overdose after accidental ingestion of Tessalon (benzonatate) by children under 10 years of age
Added: 12-29-2010

Benzonatate is a prescription drug approved for relief of cough in patients over 10 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of benzonatate in children under 10 years of age have not been established. Benzonatate is sold as a generic and under the brand-name Tessalon.

A search of FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System, or AERS, database through May 19, 2010 identified 31 cases of overdose associated with benzonatate (median age 18 years, range 1 to 66 years). Common adverse events reported in the overdose cases included cardiac arrest, coma, and convulsion. The quantities ingested ranged from 1 or 2 to 30 benzonatate capsules. Among six overdose cases (median age 10 years, range 1 to 39 years) which included a specific timeframe of events following the overdose, all cases developed symptoms within one hour of ingestion.

Link to the full story>>

Senate passes 1-year fix to Medicare payment schedule
Added: 12-09-2010

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a year-long measure averting a 25% pay cut that doctors who treat Medicare patients were facing, introducing the first substantive changes to the sweeping health care law.

The payment reductions are set to be implemented from Jan. 1, 2010. The cost of averting the payment cuts for a year is $15 billion over the next decade.

There is a further $4 billion in extensions of other expiring health-care provisions included in the legislation.

In order to pay for the extension, the bill contains a change to the recently passed health care overhaul, requiring that individuals repay excess federal subsidies for health insurance if their income rises.

Link to the full story>>

Doctor Dispense partners with OmniMD
Added: 12-07-2010

OmniMD™ and Doctor Dispense partner to bring One Integrated Solution at Point of Care

Tarrytown, NY—November 30, 2010 — On November 10th, 2010, OmniMD™, one of the leading healthcare information technology companies, which provides Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Practice Management (PMS) and other Healthcare IT products and services to individual healthcare providers and organizations across the US, has partnered with Doctor Dispense – a national provider of pharmaceutical point-of-care dispensing solutions.

“We wanted to partner with a company that offers state-of-the-art technology and services solution, which is in sync with OmniMD’s business model, and DrDispense fit that criteria,” says OmniMD’s CEO Divan Da’ve. “This partnership brings us one step closer in our on-going efforts to provide one integrated solution to physicians, resulting in not only a reduction of health care costs, but equally important providing the means of delivering more efficient and timely health care services to patients with anticipated improved quality outcomes.”

Link to the full story>>

Xanodyne agrees to withdraw propoxyphene from the U.S. market
Added: 11-19-2010

Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. which makes Darvon and Darvocet, the brand version of the prescription pain medication propoxyphene, has agreed to withdraw the medication from the U.S. market at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has also informed the generic manufacturers of propoxyphene-containing products of Xanodyne’s decision and requested that they voluntarily remove their products as well.

The FDA sought market withdrawal of propoxyphene after receiving new clinical data showing that the drug puts patients at risk of potentially serious or even fatal heart rhythm abnormalities. As a result of these data, combined with other information, including new epidemiological data, the agency concluded that the risks of the medication outweigh the benefits.

“The FDA is pleased by Xanodyne’s decision to voluntarily remove its products from the U.S. market,” said John Jenkins, M.D., director of the Office of New Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “These new heart data significantly alter propoxyphene’s risk-benefit profile. The drug’s effectiveness in reducing pain is no longer enough to outweigh the drug’s serious potential heart risks.”

The FDA is advising health care professionals to stop prescribing propoxyphene to their patients, and patients who are currently taking the drug should contact their health care professional as soon as possible to discuss switching to another pain management therapy.

FDA Safety Announcement

Link to the full story>>

Doctor Dispense chosen as top 50 emerging company
Added: 11-18-2010

FundingPost Pitching Across America Venture Capital Competition

Doctor Dispense is a winner of the Pitching Across America Venture Capital competition.

For more information visit

Doctor Dispense was chosen as one of the 50 Top-rated Emerging Companies in the Pitching Across America 2010 event. Selected from companies across the US, A panel of 100+ Investors rated hundreds of participating companies.

FundingPost, which has been introducing entrepreneurs to investors for over 9 years, established the competition in which 100 Venture Capital Funds and Angel Investors participated as judges, voting on business summaries from emerging companies nationwide. The largest Venture Capital competition ever organized, this year's Pitching Across America (TM) was sponsored by PR Newswire, YouTern, Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt, and Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank.

“The innovation that drives our nation forward was more evident than ever at this year’s Pitching Across America event,” said Bill Funcannon, Managing Director, OVP Venture Partners. “I was impressed by the caliber of the companies, the variety of industry segments, and the passion displayed by the presenters."

"I was happy to be a judge in this year’s Pitching Across America competition,” said Richard Irving, Co-Founder, Pond Ventures. “I've been a judge for the past several years and am always pleasantly surprised by the companies involved. Congrats to this year’s winners and to FundingPost for putting this together. I look forward to next year’s competition!"

Link to the full story>>

AZ Recommended Changes to Pharma Fee Schedule
Added: 09-24-2010

On June 10, 2010, the Industrial Commission of Arizona held its 2010 Fee Schedule Hearing under A.R.S. § 23-908(B). A summary of Commission action taken subsequent to the public hearing, including action taken to conform the Arizona Physicians' and Pharmaceutical Fee Schedule to the 2009 edition of the CPT-4 and to update values of the selected codes, can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

The 2010 Physicians' and Pharmaceutical Fee Schedule is effective October 1, 2010 through September 29, 2011 and will be posted on September 1, 2010.

Link to the full story>>

Sheriffs want lists of patients using painkillers
Added: 09-10-2010

Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.

The state sheriff's association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people's medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.

Allowing sheriffs' offices and other law enforcement officials to use the state's computerized list would vastly widen the circle of people with access to information on prescriptions written for millions of people. As it stands now, doctors and pharmacists are the main users.

Link to the full story>>

CA DWC posts revised draft of fee schedule
Added: 07-07-2010

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has modified its draft physician fee schedule and has posted an online forum for members of the public to review and comment on the revised draft.

The forum can be found at and members of the public may comment until July 20.

DWC’s new draft regulations propose adopting the resource based relative value scale (RBRVS), as well as ground rules relating to calculation of fees. While the initial proposal was budget neutral, the revision adds funding to the physician fee schedule accrued from reductions in spinal hardware and ambulatory surgical center fees, along with system savings gained through electronic billing.

Additionally, the revised proposal makes minor grammatical changes, changes for clarity or consistency, adds detail regarding status code indicators and professional/technical code indicators, and includes the following changes to conversion factors and report fees:

Title 8 CCR section 9789.12.4, conversion factors:

For services other than anesthesiology, the proposal includes the use of three conversion factors—surgery, radiology, and “all other.” The proposed conversion factors are 56 for surgery codes, 57 for radiology codes, and 42 for all others. Because anesthesia services are not comparable to the relative value units (RVUs) for other services, the category has its own conversion factor. The proposed conversion factor for anesthesia services is 34.

Title 8 CCR section 9789.13.2, California specific codes and section 9789.14.1, reimbursement for reports, duplicate reports, chart notes

Maximum reimbursement for California Code WC002, Treating Physician’s Progress Report (PR-2) by primary treating physician or secondary treating physician, issued in accordance with section 9785(f), using DWC form PR-2, its narrative equivalent, or letter format where allowed, is $11.69.
Labor Code section 5307.1 grants the DWC administrative director (AD) authority to revise the official medical fee schedule (OMFS) on a periodic basis.

The initial draft of the proposed physician fee schedule was posted on DWC forum for pre-rulemaking public comment on March 22 and closed April 5.

Link to the full story>>

Floriday Senate Bill 2272 Passes
Added: 06-26-2010

On 6/4/2010 Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law SB 2272. The bill requires all privately owned pain-management clinics, or offices that primarily engage in the treatment of pain by prescribing or dispensing controlled substance medications or by employing a physician who is primarily engaged in the same, to register with Department of Health.

It also limits pain-management clinics from dispensing more than a 72 hour supply of a controlled medication if the patient does not have insurance; trying to reduce the "pill mill" issue that arose in Florida several years ago. The DrDispense solution, with real-time insurance adjudication, will allow registered pain-management clinics to prescribe more than a 72 hour supply to patients without violating the law. Clinics that continue to dispense medications to patients without insurance risk violating the law which is punishable as a felony.

The new law - which takes effect Oct. 1 2010 - also limits advertising opportunities for pain clinics, would require clinics to register with the state and have annual inspections as well as maintain a physician as facility director. A registered pain-management clinic must be owned by a medical physician, osteopathic physician, or group of medical or osteopathic physicians, or be licensed under other laws that regulate clinics.

Full text of the bill: Click here

Link to the full story>>

The Medicare physician reimbursement 'fix'
Added: 06-22-2010

With the Senate's passage of a bill preventing cuts to Medicare physician reimbursement for another six months, we're only waiting on the House's action to boot the problem further down the road, where it can grow, and fester and frustrate just in time for the New Year.

That said, it isn't all bad news. The good news is the (short term) fix is paid for, it was the product of bipartisan action, and, for docs, it increases reimbursement by a touch above two percent.

With that said, this is so illuminating and so frustrating on so many levels, that it is worth exploring in detail.

Link to the full story>>

Operation Medicine Cabinet
Added: 06-18-2010

NOV 18 -- (Newark) – Gerard P. McAleer, the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Jersey Division and Angelo M. Valente, the Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), announced today that over 9,000 pounds of medicine, with a street value of over $35 million, was collected during Operation Medicine Cabinet New Jersey, the first in the nation statewide day of disposal of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine. This statewide effort is being spearheaded by the DEA New Jersey Division, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (OAG), and the PDFNJ, with partnership and support by many other local and statewide prevention and enforcement organizations.

Link to the full story>>

When Patients Don’t Fill Their Prescriptions
Added: 05-25-2010

Not long ago, a doctor friend recounted the story of a patient who had recently died from complications stemming from the treatment of a chronic bleeding problem. “I felt terrible about it,” said my friend, who had cared for the patient for several years. “Something didn’t add up in this case, and I had to wonder if it was my fault, if I had done something wrong.”

Spurred on by these recurrent self-doubts, my friend went back to review the records. Nothing at first glance seemed amiss; all the recommendations, visits and discussions were consistent with what both of us knew was good, evidence-based clinical care.

Link to the full story>>

Ultram/Ultracet label changes
Added: 05-25-2010

Ortho-McNeil-Janssen and FDA notified healthcare professionals of changes to the Warnings section of the prescribing information for tramadol. The strengthened Warnings information emphasizes the risk of suicide for patients who are addiction-prone, taking tranquilizers or antidepressant drugs and also warns of the risk of overdosage.

Link to the full story>>

Doctor Won't See You Mr. Pharma Rep
Added: 05-07-2010

The Doctor Won’t See You (Mr. Pharma Rep), Now

— Number of ‘rep-accessible’ docs falls another 20 percent; ‘rep-inaccessible’ docs increase 50 percent — — Pharmacos respond with more precise sales force deployment strategies —

EVANSTON, Ill. — May 6, 2010 — Obtaining access to busy physicians grew still more difficult for pharmaceutical representatives in 2009, as the number of physicians willing to see most reps fell nearly 20 percent, the number of prescribers refusing to see most reps increased by half and the number of management-planned sales calls that were nearly impossible to complete topped 8 million.

Link to the full story>>

SaaS, Security and the Cloud
Added: 04-07-2010

The term Software as a Service (SaaS) has been around a long time. The term cloud is still relatively new for many. Putting them together has meant a world of hurt for many enterprises, especially when trying to integrate security into the mix.

During a joint panel discussion hosted by CSO Perspectives 2010 and SaaScon 2010 Wednesday, five guys who've been there sought to help attendees avoid the same ordeal. Perhaps the most important lesson is that contract negotiations between providers is everything. The problem is that you don't always know which questions to ask when the paperwork is being written.

Link to the full story>>

Keith Waldorf selected to present at SaaScon 2010
Added: 03-16-2010

Keith Waldorf has been selected to present at the SaaScon 2010 conference on April 6th and 7th. SaaScon is the destination conference in 2010 to learn everything about Software as a Service (SaaS) and related cloud-based services. Designed expressly for those engaged in purchasing, managing or developing cloud-based solutions, SaaScon will answer all of your tough questions about security, risk, integration and more.

Link to the full story>>

Doctor Dispense chooses Stratascale Hosting Solution
Added: 03-11-2010

StrataScale, Inc., makers of the world’s first fully automated managed hosting solution, today announced that Dr. Dispense, a point of care medication and e-prescribing dispensing solution for physicians groups, has selected StrataScale as its sole managed hosting provider. Dr. Dispense chose StrataScale’s flagship Automated Managed Hosting service because of its unparalleled ability to maintain the security and integrity of its platform and applications on fully managed, dedicated servers, while allowing them to scale physical systems at a moment’s notice with cloud-like abilities, effectively accommodating for the system demands and flexibility associated with rapid growth.

Link to the full story>>

Group Urges Recall Of Drug for Fibromyalgia
Added: 01-20-2010

A consumer advocacy group is asking government regulators to recall a drug they approved last year for a little-understood pain ailment, saying the pill can lead to dangerously high blood pressure.

A letter Wednesday from Public Citizen calls on the Food and Drug Administration to pull Savella off the market, almost exactly a year after it was cleared to treat fibromyalgia.

The drug is co-marketed by Forest Laboratories Inc. and Cypress Bioscience Inc.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by a wide range of pain-related symptoms, including muscle soreness, headache, fatigue and depression. Last summer European regulators rejected the drug due to lack of effectiveness data and side effects. Public Citizen argues the FDA should have reached the same conclusion.

Link to the full story>>

Fraudulent H1N1 Flu Supplements
Added: 10-20-2009

On October 15, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a joint warning letter to a Web site marketing fraudulent supplements that claim to help prevent the spread of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

The warning letter, the first to be issued jointly by the agencies, advises the owners of the site that they must discontinue the fraudulent marketing of their product or face legal action. The letter further advises the owners of the site that they have 48 hours to give the agencies a plan to discontinue their fraudulent marketing.

Link to the full story>>

American Academy of Pain Management
Added: 10-05-2009

Doctor Dispense is please to announce they will be attending the Academy's Annual Clinical Meeting and Conference in Phoenix Arizona Oct 8-11, 2009.

AAPM offers specialized educational opportunities in the field of integrative pain management. Every year the Academy provides state-of-the-art presentations by clinical experts in the field of pain management. The latest in treatment modalities are covered including: pharmacological management of pain, behavioral therapies, psychosocial and quality of life issues, along with current research related to pain management.

Link to the full story>>

Children / Infants Tylenol Products - Recall
Added: 09-26-2009

McNeil Consumer Healthcare and FDA notified consumers of a nationwide recall of certain Tylenol products as a precautionary measure because of potential manufacturing problems. The company initiated a recall of certain oral suspension products distributed between March 2008 and May 2008 due to the potential of bacteria in raw materials used to manufacture the finished product. There are no illnesses reported by patients using this product. The full list of recalled product lots can be accessed on the company’s website at McNeil is advising parents and caregivers who have administered affected product to their child or infant and have concerns to contact their healthcare providers. Parents and caregivers can find the lot numbers on the bottom of the box containing the product and also on the sticker that surrounds the product bottle.

Link to the full story>>

Tamiflu Medication Dosing Errors Reported
Added: 09-25-2009

[UPDATED 09/25/2009] New links added to provide information on emergency use in infants less than 1 year of age and directions to pharmacists on emergency compounding of oral suspension from capsules.

09/24/2009 The FDA issued a Public Health Alert to notify prescribers and pharmacists about potential dosing errors with Tamiflu (oseltamivir) for Oral Suspension. U.S. health care providers usually write prescriptions for liquid medicines in milliliters (mL) or teaspoons, while Tamiflu is dosed in milligrams (mg). The dosing dispenser packaged with Tamiflu has markings only in 30, 45 and 60 mg. The Agency has received reports of errors where dosing instructions for the patient do not match the dosing dispenser. Health care providers should write doses in mg if the dosing dispenser with the drug is in mg. Pharmacists should ensure that the units of measure on the prescription instructions match the dosing device provided with the drug.

Link to the full story>>

First Databank to reduce AWP
Added: 08-26-2009

The First Databank lawsuit settlement requires PBM's to reduce AWP from a 125% markup to 120% on approximately 1,400 generic medications.

PBM's have 18 months to comply with the changes but it is unclear when this will impact current pharmacy contracts or if the larger players will decrease discounts to pharmacies to offset the difference.

Link to the full story>>

Americans spend $34B on alternative medicine
Added: 07-31-2009

Yahoo News ATLANTA GA – Americans spend more than a 10th of their out-of-pocket health care dollars on alternative medicine, according to the first national estimate of such spending in more than a decade.

Chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and herbal remedies are commanding significant consumer dollars as people seek high-touch care in a high-tech society, the report released Thursday by the government shows.
Altogether, consumers spent an estimated $34 billion on those and other alternative remedies in 2007, the report found.

"We are talking about a very wide range of health practices that range from promising and sensible to potentially harmful," said Dr. Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the federal agency that leads research in this field.
More research into which therapies work is critically needed, because the spending on them is "substantial," she said.

Link to the full story>>

FDA Guidance on Anticounterfeiting
Added: 07-17-2009

FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Industry on Drug Anticounterfeiting
Focus on physical chemical identifiers
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a draft guidance on the use of inks, pigments, flavors, and other physical-chemical identifiers (PCIDs) by manufacturers to make drug products more difficult to duplicate by counterfeiters, and to make it easier to identify the genuine version of the drug.

The draft guidance is an important step in working with manufacturers to make drug products more difficult to duplicate by counterfeiters. The agency invites comments on the draft guidance, available online and titled “Draft Guidance for Industry: Incorporation of Physical-Chemical Identifiers into Solid Oral Dosage Form Drug Products for Anticounterfeiting.”

“Drug counterfeiting is a serious public health concern,” said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “We look forward to working with industry to help ensure that consumers are not exposed to products containing unknown, ineffective, or harmful ingredients.”

The document is intended to provide guidance to industry regarding the use of PCIDs in solid oral dosage forms, which include pills and capsules, for anticounterfeiting purposes.

A PCID is a substance or combination of substances possessing a unique physical or chemical property used to identify and authenticate a drug product or dosage. In addition to inks, pigments, and flavors, specific chemicals may be used as molecular tags in a PCID. In some cases, the PCID may be easily detected by wholesalers or pharmacists to determine if they have authentic products. In other cases, special analytical instruments may be necessary to identify whether the PCID is present.

In the draft guidance, the FDA anticipates that many of the potential PCID ingredients are already used as food additives, colorants, or other types of inactive ingredients with established safety profiles.

To minimize adverse effects, the draft guidance recommends using the lowest level of PCID that ensures identification of the product. It also recommends that the PCID be a substance with no medicinal effect, and placed within the dosage form so that it does not interact with the drug’s active ingredient.

Link to the full story>>

Senate committee clears health bill
Added: 07-17-2009

WASHINGTON – The Senate health committee cast a milestone vote Wednesday to approve legislation expanding insurance coverage to nearly all Americans, becoming the first congressional panel to act on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

The 13-10 party line vote advanced a $600 billion measure that would require individuals to get health insurance and employers to contribute to the cost. Democratic leaders are driving for floor votes in the House and Senate before Congress goes on its August break.

Link to the full story>>

House Bill Summary
Added: 07-16-2009

Click the link below to view a summary of the Quality Affordable Health Care House Bill.

Link to the full story>>

Pharmacies offering Medical Care
Added: 07-16-2009

Retail Pharmacies are providing Medical Care and looking to take business from physicians writing scripts and sending patients to their facilities. Contact DrD to see how our service offerings can give you a competitive advantage.

Wal-Mart Medical Clinics Stumble

Two years ago, Wal-Mart Stores announced plans to have retail medical clinics in 400 of its stores by 2010 and said it saw the potential for as many as 2,000. By February 2008, the retailer had 78 clinics. But now,—after failed venture-capital collaborations, a few faulty partnerships, and a reassessment of the business model—it has only 31.

Link to the full story>>

FDA Takes Action on Propoxyphene
Added: 07-16-2009

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking several actions to reduce the risk of overdose in patients using pain medications such as Darvon and Darvocet that contain propoxyphene. The actions were taken because of data linking propoxyphene and fatal overdoses.

The agency is requiring manufacturers of propoxyphene-containing products to strengthen the label, including the boxed warning, emphasizing the potential for overdose when using these products. These manufacturers will also be required to provide a medication guide to patients stressing the importance of using the drugs as directed.

In addition, the FDA is requiring a new safety study assessing unanswered questions about the effects of propoxyphene on the heart at higher than recommended doses. Findings from this study, as well as other data, could lead to additional regulatory action.

“Physicians need to be aware of the risk of overdose when prescribing these drugs. They should carefully review patient histories and make appropriate treatment decisions based on the warnings and directions stated within the drug’s label,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Prescribers and patients should be aware of propoxyphene’s potential risks when used at doses higher than those recommended. Therefore, the FDA is requiring manufacturers to provide more information to help physicians and patients decide whether propoxyphene is the appropriate pain therapy.”

Link to the full story>>

Health reform - I still don't see it
Added: 07-16-2009

Word from Washington this morning is the 52 members of the House Blue Dog (moderate Democrat) caucus are none too happy with the high cost, employer mandate, and public option provisions of the House bill.

Meanwhile, Politico is applauding the Senate Finance Committee for actually making progress on a bill that they admit will never pass the full Senate. That's laudable? Seems more like Politico is awarding a medal for showing up for practice...

Link to the full story>>

California Society of PM&R
Added: 04-29-2008

Please visit Doctor Dispense at the 2008 California Society of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitaion conference in Las Vegas May 2-4.

To be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel. 4315 Swenson Street, Las Vegas NV 89119.

Link to the full story>>

California MGMA
Added: 02-18-2008

Register now for the 2008 California Medical Group Management Association Annual Conference.

Doctor Dispense will be attending the conference at the Santa Clara Marriott, March 6 - 8, 2008

Link to the full story>>

California Work Comp Top 10
Added: 02-02-2008

Top ten things to watch in California Comp. Posted to Work Comp Central on 01/15/2008

Link to the full story>>

Cleveland Clinic Pain Symposium
Added: 01-18-2008

The Cleveland Clinic Department of Pain Management is pleased to announce ??The 10th Annual Pain Management Symposium.? DrD will be attending during the week of February 16-20, 2008, and join us in the beautiful setting of Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa in Coronado, California, to share in a dynamic five-day symposium focused on the advances in pain medicine and regional anesthesia/analgesia.

Link to the full story>>

DrD to attend WOEMA
Added: 09-08-2007

Doctor Dispense will be an exhibitor at the 2007 Western Occupational Health Conference.

The event will take place at Loews Coronado Resort located 20 minutes from San Diego airport on beautiful Coronado Island.

Please stop by and see us.

Link to the full story>>

California DWC finalizes pharmacy fee schedule
Added: 05-11-2007

The California Division of Workers' Compensation files final pharmacy fee schedule regulation amendments with the Office of Administrative Law

The California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has filed the final text of amendments to the pharmaceuticals section (9789.40) of the Official Medical Fee Schedule with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). OAL will immediately file the regulations with the secretary of state and the changes will become effective Mar. 1, 2007.

The text of the regulations is the same as was proposed in the notice of rulemaking posted Sep. 12, 2006, except for technical changes in language, which were made to make the regulation more clear, and a change in the effective date from Dec. 1, 2006, to Mar. 1, 2007. Because section 9789.40, pharmacy, establishes or fixes rates within the meaning of Government Code section 11340.9(g), the regulation is not subject to review by OAL.

The adopted version of the amendments to the regulation closes a loophole created by legislation passed in 2003. Under that legislation, Labor Code section 5307.1 required that reimbursement rates for medical services, except physician fees, be in accordance with the relevant Medicare and Medi-Cal payment systems. However, the Medi-Cal system does not allow drugs to be dispensed by doctors in their offices. This loophole in the payment structure allowed doctors to be reimbursed for drugs dispensed during office visits at much higher rates than those paid to pharmacies for the same drugs. This regulation closes that loophole.

Concurrently with the adoption of this regulation, DWC is in the process of adopting a revision to the physician fee schedule within the Official Medical Fee Schedule, which will substantially increase the reimbursement rates for the most commonly used procedure codes for evaluation and management.

This regulation as filed with the OAL can be found below.

Link to the full story>>

Get the facts:
Added: 04-28-2005

Recently enacted workers? compensation legislation (SB 899) provides strong reforms in an effort to save jobs, reduce costs for employers and improve care for injured workers. To make information about changes to the workers? compensation system accompanying these reforms easily accessible to its constituents, the Division of Workers? Compensation offers the following:

Read the text of Senate Bill 899 or review the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers? Compensation?s summary of reforms or its section by section summary.

Click on the link below to read all of the detail.

Link to the full story>>

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