Pharmaceutical Commerce - April 2010 - (Page 7)

OpEd Retail Pharmacies and the Health and Wellness Renaissance Following are excerpts from the keynote presentation of Steven C. Anderson, president and CEO of the National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores, at its annual meeting, Palm Beach, FL, Apr. 25. A consistent theme emerges among the companies represented here within the NACDS membership – pharmacy and frontend, retailers and suppliers alike. Though you differentiate in the marketplace, improving lives emerges as the common value you offer to the public. And you are improving lives in ever-greater ways. Collectively, your companies’ competition to deliver value is creating a re-birth. Call it a health and wellness renaissance, with innovations focused on patients and consumers. Think back to late 2007 and early 2008. NACDS created our key message: “Pharmacies. The face of neighborhood healthcare.” And the Board of Directors adopted the NACDS Principles of Healthcare Reform. We didn’t wait for the massive legislation; we urged propatient, pro-pharmacy policies in any train leaving the legislative station. Even though President Obama just signed the healthcare reform law, this issue is still in the middle innings. The focus now turns to the Executive Branch for the implementation. The publication Congressional Quarterly Weekly made a great point. Three powerful words appeared 1,045 times in the new healthcare law. Those words are: “the Secretary shall,” which refers to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Include in that count the words “the secretary may” or “as the secretary determines” and your calculator may blow up. What these words mean is that the Administration has a lot of decisions to make as they begin to write the countless regulations over the years that will implement the new law. Though we need to remain vigilant, we are entering this part of the game in better shape than in the past. While the law includes important pharmacy issues, the platform that it presented also proved vital. At this very meeting, in past years, we said this debate would give pharmacy a new chance to tell our story. It did, and we seized the moment. Members of Congress really started to get it when we talked about poor medication adherence being responsible for $290 billion in added costs every year. That’s 13% of health expenditures. Think about the controversy of [the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act]. Amid all of that, we were able to position pharmacy as a bipartisan, preventive, costcutting solution. . . . [PPACA] advances medication therapy management, MTM. It includes grant and pilot programs that include MTM, and makes improvements to the Medicare Part D MTM benefit. We have studies in which every $1 spent on MTM reduced overall health spending by $12. Members of Congress wanted to put this into action. We also received validation for pharmacy’s approach to the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement issue under the AMP model. As it turns out, our strategy was right-on. We had two huge problems: the incredibly damaging Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, and the absolutely devastating regulations to implement it. Congress did us wrong in 2005. And then the Executive Branch nearly did us in, with the AMP rule in 2007. So, we set out to block the flawed regulations, while seeking the only long-term solution, a change in the law itself. The preliminary injunction won by NACDS and the National Community Pharmacists Assn. has blocked $5.5 million in cuts to pharmacy each day that are the results of the Deficit Reduction Act and the subsequent AMP rule. It has saved more than $4.6 billion in cuts to pharmacy from January 1, 2008, through today. Now, provisions of the new law stand to soften those cuts. Members of Congress were clear they would not go to pre-Deficit Reduction Act levels. But the law includes a much-improved definition and calculation method for AMP. They better approximate pharmacies’ costs for purchasing generic drugs. The law also says that federal upper limits will be set using a multiplier of “no less than” 175%. [PPACA] also expands Medicaid coverage, takes steps to close the “donut hole” in Medicare Part D. And it maintains Medicare Part D vaccine coverage. This industry has been doing some amazing things, but without due credit. It has been like an industry before its time, with innovations and potential that just have not been realized by the rest of the world. Think about what you are doing: bringing to bear the entire store for health and wellness; supplying products that refresh the body, mind and soul; offering services that empower, improve and save lives; leveraging the power of technology; all while remaining focused on the people you serve. Together, we are creating a renaissance. I am convinced people will look back 20 or 30 years from now, and will see these times – our times – as a historic, watershed moment. Small Distributors Serve a Vital Role in the Pharmaceutical Distribution Supply Chain By: Karen L. Moody, National Coalition of Pharmaceutical Distributors Recently, the New York Times ran an Op-Ed piece* from Katherine Eban and Aaron Graham, Eban being the author of Dangerous Doses (published in 2005) and Graham being a longtime, front-line defender against international pharmaceutical counterfeiting. The article advocated the implementation of a national track-and-trace program—a point with which we do NOT disagree—but swung widely against “secondary wholesalers,” saying that diverted or stolen drugs “may move through a dozen hands, through small secondary wholesalers and repackagers. With so many middlemen involved, thieves can easily unload stolen drugs, which may be resold to pharmacies and hospitals and dispensed to you and me.” My reaction to this assertion is one of great regret and continued frustration. It is truly unfortunate that the small and independent pharmaceutical distributor is once again being trotted out as a sacrificial lamb and being labeled as the source of all that is wrong with our nation’s drug supply chain. Simply put, their commentary was reckless and irresponsible. As the president of the National Coalition of Pharmaceutical Distributors (NCPD), a national organization dedicated to supply chain safety and the well-being of the small pharmaceutical distributor, I take particular exception to the writers’ assertions. Their assessment is troubling in that it utilizes specific incidents from early in the last decade to continue smearing a sector of the industry that is predominately comprised of hard-working and family-owned small businesses. Recognizing that representatives from every link of the supply chain have experienced problems with product adulteration and counterfeiting, I believe we all share the common goal of ensuring that criminal elements are eliminated from our industry. Were there criminals who had inappropriately obtained distribution licenses operating in south Florida during the writing of Ms. Eban’s book? Absolutely. Were these same criminals typical members of our industry? Absolutely not. NCPD is dedicated to reforming and improving the laws governing our nation’s pharmaceutical supply chain – i.e., strengthening pedigree requirements to the greatest extent feasible. We are members of organizations operated by the FDA and DEA that provide our members the ability to report suspicious activities and we are partnered with similar programs in the private sector as well. Further, since 2006 NCPD has engaged with key congressional offices and federal agencies to enact meaningful pedigree-reform legislation at the federal level. This legislation is expected to be re-introduced in the coming weeks and NCPD will aggressively work to ensure its passage. By requiring the serialization of all products and establishing a single, federal pedigree standard, the safety of our nation’s prescription pharmaceuticals will improve immeasurably. As the only sector of the pharmaceutical industry currently required adhering to pedigree laws, NCPD and its members enthusiastically anticipate the passage of this measure. In anticipation of the 2009 deadline for pedigree compliance in California (subsequently extended to 2015), many NCPD members have initiated the process of conforming with serialization and e-pedigree requirements. Even though our members are small businesses do not possess vast resources for infrastructure enhancement, it is universally recognized that the investment necessary for having an e-pedigree/track and trace system in place is crucial to ensure that our sector is doing its part to secure the supply chain. NCPD member businesses maintain a solid and constructive relationship with their House and Senate representatives. Among the issues expected to be considered this year is the improvement of our nation’s pharmaceutical supply chain. More specifically, it is anticipated that legislation to overhaul the laws governing the chain of custody (pedigree) for pharmaceutical products will be introduced in the coming weeks. Presently, NCPD is working with key House and Senate offices on this legislation, which is ABOUT THE AUTHOR Karen L. Moody is widely expected to mirror California’s existing pedigree law. NCPD’s 2010 annual conference, to be held in Las Vegas this president of Atlantic Biologicals (Miami), a August, will again feature key representatives from federal and state VAWD-certified, regulatory and enforcement agencies to provide guidance and sug- independent distributor gestions to our members on matters concerning supply chain safety. of pharmaceuticals and bioIn addition, this conference will include industry stakeholders from logics, founded in 20--. the manufacturing and retail segments of the pharmaceutical com- She is also a founder and the president of the munity. This conference will serve to showcase the tremendous National Coalition of strides our members are making toward the ultimate goal of secur- Pharmaceutical Distributors ing the national pharmaceutical supply chain. (Miami; APRIL 2010 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - April 2010

Pharmaceutical Commerce - April 2010
Top News
Business & Finance
BrandMarketing | Communications
Supply Chain | Logistics
Information Technology
Packaging & Drug Delivery
Legal | Regulatory
Executive Training & Development
Editorial Index & Meetings

Pharmaceutical Commerce - April 2010