NABP Creates Mid-Level Category of Web Sites Selling Prescription Medications
Beginning in July 2008, NABP will add a mid-level group to its categorization of Web sites selling prescription medications, as posted in the Internet Pharmacies section of its Web site. Based on a review of the public information available for these entities, NABP will post a list of Reviewed Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. This list will include sites that appear to comply with state and federal laws governing the practice of pharmacy and criteria established by NABP. NABP continues to recommend that patients use sites accredited through the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites™ (VIPPS®) program. NABP also continues to list sites that appear to be out of compliance with state and federal laws or NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards as “not recommended” on the NABP Web site. As of June 20, NABP has listed 273 sites as “not recommended.” Program criteria, patient information, and a full listing of “not recommended” Internet drug outlets are available under Internet Pharmacies on the NABP Web site.
NABP Awards DMEPOS Accreditation to First Supermarket Pharmacy
NABP recently accredited Publix Super Markets, Inc (www.publix.com) for its retail store pharmacy services through the Association’s durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) accreditation program. Publix is the first grocery store pharmacy chain to which the Association has awarded this accreditation. The DMEPOS program ensures that suppliers of DMEPOS products meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ quality and accreditation standards. Publix’s decision to seek accreditation for its 715 pharmacies demonstrates that they are doing their part to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the appropriate products, services, and patient care associated with DMEPOS. Publix is privately owned and operated by its 142,000 employees, with 2007 sales of $23 billion. Currently Publix has 933 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. A full listing of NABP-accredited DMEPOS suppliers is available under Accreditation on the NABP Web site.
HHS Takes Emergency Measures to Help Medicare Beneficiaries, Providers in Iowa, Indiana
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt on June 16, 2008 declared a public health emergency in the flood-stricken states of Iowa and Indiana. The action gives HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Medicare beneficiaries and their health care providers greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs. For beneficiaries residing in an “emergency area,” defined as the area in which the President has declared a major disaster or the Secretary has declared a public health emergency, CMS expects Part D sponsors to guarantee immediate refills of Part D medications, to remove all “refill too soon” edits, and to allow the maximum extended day supply, if requested and available at the time of refill, during the emergency declaration. CMS advises sponsors to monitor the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Web site, at www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema, for issuance of Presidential major disaster declarations. More information is available on the CMS Web site.
Switch to HFA-Propelled Albuterol Inhalers Advised in Anticipation of CFC Ban
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a public health advisory alerting patients, caregivers, and health care professionals to switch to hydrofluoroalkane (HFA)-propelled albuterol inhalers because chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-propelled inhalers will not be available in the United States after 2008. CFC-propelled albuterol inhalers are being phased out to comply with the Clean Air Act and an international environmental treaty, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Under this treaty, the US has agreed to phase out production and importation of ozone-depleting substances including CFCs. No CFC-propelled albuterol inhalers may be produced, marketed, or sold in the US after December 31. Three HFA-propelled albuterol inhalers have been approved by FDA: Proair HFA Inhalation Aerosol, Proventil HFA Inhalation Aerosol, and Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol. In addition, an HFA-propelled inhaler containing levalbuterol is available as Xopenex HFA Inhalation Aerosol. More information is available on the FDA Web site.
Two Additional Facilities Awarded VAWD Accreditation
NABP recently accredited two new facilities through its Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors® (VAWD®)program, bringing the total number of accredited facilities to 275 as of June 20, 2008. A full listing of VAWD facilities is available under Accreditation on the NABP Web site.
- Devos Ltd is a corporation operating as a “reverse distributor.” All products received by the business are either destroyed or shipped to the originating manufacturer. The company received accreditation for its Holbrook, NY facility.
- Keltman Pharmaceuticals, Inc provides prepackaged prescription products to physicians’ offices and clinics for subsequent dispensing to patients. The company received accreditation for its Flowood, MS facility.