Category: News Feed

Statement From FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on Proposed New Steps to Protect Youth by Preventing Access to Flavored Tobacco Products and Banning Menthol in Cigarettes

Philly May Require All Pharmacies to Stock Overdose-reversal Drug Naloxone  

Express Scripts Launches a New Formulary for a World Without Rebates. Will Plan Sponsors and Drug Makers Play Along?

NCPA Advocacy Successes and How Those Are Helping Advance Our Effort to Eliminate Pharmacy DIR

Why haven’t the Chains been joining us in complaining to the world about reimbursement pricing?

Attached is a flyer showing how Independents are being paid compared to the major chains…. All I can say is WOW! Show this to your PSAO – can they explain the difference in reimbursement? On this one Rx for Quetiapine

Department of Justice Approval of Mergers and How They Will Affect Independents

As you have already heard the Department of Justice has approved both the CVS/Aetna & Cigna/ESI mergers. A few members have already called me to VENT – now I would like you all to VENT to the proper people within

Delaware County Hearing With The Auditor General

The Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale, held his second hearing on the questionable business practices of PBMs in Delaware County on September 12, 2018 The Auditor General in his press conference stated he “is committed to looking into the PBM practices,

Pharmacy Owners: A New Alternative to Keeping Independent Pharmacy Independent

Do Prescription Drug Middlemen Help Keep Prices High?

Register now for NCPA Conference Oct 6-9 in Boston

Keystone Pharmacy Purchasing Alliance pharmacists receive $50 off when you register and use the promo code BUY50.  Open to owner/managers and staff pharmacists only. Register + Book your hotel at It’s where ideas are born!  The programming is peer-led with

Auditor General DePasquale Initiates Review to Bring Transparency, Accountability to Prescription Drug Pricing

HARRISBURG (June 13, 2018) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today said he is launching a review to bring transparency and accountability to prescription drug pricing in Pennsylvania. The result will be a special report focused on practices by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs),

 Pharmacist Continuing Education Requirements

  To renew their pharmacist licenses, pharmacists are required to complete pharmacist continuing education approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or by the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy (Board).  Of the total 30 contact hours that pharmacists

Pharmacists Gag Rule

PARD’s Mel Brodsky has something to say about the gag rule:

Consumer Confidential: They’re called ‘co-pay accumulators,’ and they’re a way insurers make you pay more for meds

Mary Hawley takes the widely used drug Humira for her rheumatoid arthritis. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, but for nearly a decade Hawley has been assisted with discount coupons from the drug’s manufacturer, AbbVie.  “You

FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns of serious immune system reaction with seizure and mental health medicine lamotrigine (Lamictal)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the medicine lamotrigine (Lamictal) for seizures and bipolar disorder can cause a rare but very serious reaction that excessively activates the body’s infection-fighting immune system. This can cause severe inflammation throughout

Webinar on Prescription Drugs and Heroin

WEBINAR – REGISTER NOW PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND HEROIN Thursday, April 26, 2018 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET I 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT The opioid epidemic is having an ongoing serious impact on communities throughout the United States.

How will the new tax laws affect your business?

Are you up on how the new tax law will affect small business like yours? Sign up for this webinar by Ollin Sykes, CPA with Sykes & Co., to make sure you’re up to date. This webinar will help you

Health Insurer Cigna to Buy Express Scripts in $67 Billion Deal

U.S. health insurer Cigna said on Thursday it would buy pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts for about $54 billion, the latest deal in the sector aimed at tackling soaring healthcare costs. The move follows the $69 billion merger of insurer Aetna and drugstore chain CVS Health announced last

Allergan Attempt to Move Restasis Patent to Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Did Not Work

After months of criticism that even spilled into a judge’s opinion in a separate case, Allergan’s Restasis patent deal with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe just didn’t work. Thanks to a Friday ruling, the blockbuster eye drug has to face

Register for Pharmacy Legislative Day

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association is hosting its annual Pharmacy Legislative Day in Harrisburg, PA on Monday, April 16, 2018. Attend and talk with Pennsylvania legislators about the issues that affect you and the patients you serve. Help us advocate for

The Tax Cut & Your Pharmacy Business: What You Need to Know

NCPA consulted with and received permission from leading community pharmacy accounting firm Sykes & Company, P.A. to share its analysis of the recently enacted tax law. It features the example of a hypothetical pharmacy owner to illustrate how specific provisions

OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare change coverage status of Tamiflu due to shortage of generic equivalent

OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare are now accepting the Brand Tamiflu for reimbursement due to the shortage of the generic product in the market.   OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare are taking action to address current shortages in the supply of the generic anti-flu

FDA, FTC warn companies for selling illegal, unapproved opioid cessation products using deceptive claims

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission today posted joint warning letters to the marketers and distributors of 12 opioid cessation products, for illegally marketing unapproved products with claims about their ability to help in the

4 Quick & Easy Ways to Boost Sales During Flu Season

Let patients know you care: Put a good tip list for flu survival on your website and share it on social media. Indicate that patients can pick up flu prevention & relief items at your pharmacy (create end-caps for each).

Pennsylvania Makes Headway on MAC Pricing Debacle

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association took action after its members began seeing drastic cuts in MAC reimbursements in some Medicaid Managed Care plans starting in October. Now they’ve been told CVS/Caremark has committed to returning reimbursements to pre-October levels for the

Aetna Better Health to Return to Pre-October Reimbursement Rates

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services informed PPA yesterday that CVS/Caremark intends to return its MAC pricing for Aetna Better Health MCO back to the levels that were in place prior to the atrocious cuts implemented in October 2017. You

FDA warns Becton Dickinson & Company of Significant Violations of the Law as Part of Ongoing Investigation into Lead Testing Issues

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a warning letter to Becton Dickinson (BD) & Company that cited several violations of federal law, including marketing significantly modified versions of certain BD Vacutainer blood collection tubes without required FDA clearance

Webinar: Best Practices for Shipping Pharmaceuticals to Your Patients

This webinar is being done by OptiFreight, who is one of our vendors.  They are a part of Cardinal Health. Register at this link.

New Data: Pharmacy Owners’ Profits Fall As Industry Competition Rises

Time for my annual look at independent pharmacy owners’ business economics, drawn from the recently released 2017 National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Digest, Sponsored by Cardinal Health. Here’s the press release: NCPA Releases 2017 Digest. Below, I review our latest

Vitamins Make the Best Valentine’s Gifts

The right supplements can be the best gift for the heart. Choose supplements that you feel comfortable recommending to patients and prepare a “Valentine’s Gift to the Heart” display. Some possibilities include your favorite multivitamin, a CoQ10, fish oil with

The Facts on America’s Opioid Epidemic 

Learn How to Start a Pharmacy Niche: Webinar Jan. 10

Discover how one of your peers combined her pharmacy’s excellent reputation, strong customer relationships, and clinical expertise with patient needs to form a thriving niche counseling patients in wellness. The NCPA Innovation Center’s Jan. 10 CE webinar will give you

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to all of our Independent Pharmacies and their families. Keystone/PARD offices will close at Noon on Friday, December 22, 2017 and remain closed through Monday, January 1, 2018 in observance of the holiday. We will resume our normal

Help Us Help You: Tell Us How DIR Is Impacting You

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking public comment by January 16, 2018 on a proposal that would require all pharmacy DIR to be reflected at point of sale.  NCPA will encourage CMS to formally adopt this proposal,

What Are Your Community Pharmacy Priorities for 2018? – NCPA Survery

Below is a simple & quick survey from NCPA. They want to hear from you as to “what is bothering & costing you the most”. Please take 5 minutes and let them know your thoughts. 2018 Priorities Membership Survey flyer

Brush Up on Employment Law: Webinar Tomorrow

Without the big HR department of a large chain, the weight of compliance falls on the pharmacy owner. The NCPA Innovation Center’s Dec. 13 CE webinar will give you the information and tools you need to manage human resources and

Social Media Marketing Tips for the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us it’s easy to let your pharmacy’s social media presence slip throughout all of the hustle and bustle. In fact, these are some of the most crucial times to beef up your social media presence

Tomorrow is “DIR Day”

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, take the time to share with legislators how much you have paid in DIR fees this year. Let them know how DIRs imposed by PBMs have impacted patient costs at the register and how they have

Four 5-minute Tasks You Can Accomplish Right Now

• Create a “Wash Away Germs” end-cap for Hand Washing Awareness Week (Dec. 3-9) featuring hand soaps, antibacterial lotions, air sanitizers like Lysol, and wipes. • Take a photo of one of your lift chairs with a big red bow

CMS Will Consider Changes to Pharmacy DIR in Part D

In a 713-page proposed regulation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it will consider a proposal to account for all pharmacy DIR at point of sale, as NCPA has long urged. CMS argues that the change would increase drug


  Effective Monday December 11, 2017 PACE and CRDP will enhance the existing prescriber edit. PACE and CRDP require that a cardholder’s prescription must be written by: a prescriber licensed by the Commonwealth a prescriber licensed by Delaware, Maryland, New

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Independent Pharmacies and their families. Keystone/PARD offices will close at Noon on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 and remain closed on Thursday, November 23, 2017 and Friday, November 24, 2017 in observance of the holiday.

AmerisourceBergen to Acquire H.D. Smith

AmerisourceBergen will be acquiring H.D. Smith. The Valley Forge, Pa.-based company will be paying $815 million in cash for the company, which is currently the United States’ largest independent wholesaler. Read more about the acquisition here.

Is Your Pharmacy Ready for Small Business Saturday?

Here are some suggestions from NCPA on enhancing your front end for the holidays with product you already have in store. Prep “Makes a Great Stocking Stuffer” signs to place on at least 50 items throughout the store. Be creative

Cardinal Health Launches Opioid Action Program to Support Drug Abuse Prevention and Education in Appalachia

Nov 16, 2017 Company to Collaborate with Key Partners across Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia DUBLIN, Ohio, Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) today launched its new Opioid Action Program, aimed at helping communities in four of the nation’s hardest-hit states across Appalachia combat the


PARD and Keystone join PUTT in a silent protest during a PBM presentation at the FTC workshop on PBMs and Healthcare Costs. Mid-morning as the PBM session kicked off – and at the precise moment Mark Merritt, President and CEO

U.S. Approves Digital Pill That Tracks When Patients Take It

(Reuters) – U.S. regulators have approved the first digital pill with an embedded sensor to track if patients are taking their medication properly, marking a significant step forward in the convergence of healthcare and technology. Read more here.

Drug Enforcement Administration collects record number of unused pills as part of its 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Thanks to all Independent pharmacies who participated in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day! (WASHINGTON) – Americans nationwide did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners

Get Free Images for Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday was founded seven years ago to help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year—Thanksgiving weekend. Mark your calendar—this year the date is Nov. 25. NCPA has created free social

Do This One Task Today to Get Ready for the Holidays

Set the employee schedule for November, December, and January. Keep in mind that the day after Thanksgiving is the last Friday of the month and there is a good chance the pharmacy will be busy. Consider bringing in extra staff