NABP Seeks CMS Approval to Accredit DMEPOS-Pharmacy Suppliers
NABP is seeking approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to become an accrediting organization for suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS). Submitted September 29, 2006, to CMS, NABP’s proposed accreditation program targets state-approved pharmacies that provide a limited line of durable medical equipment. The primary goal of the program, which will meet or exceed CMS' Quality Standards, is to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the appropriate products, services, and patient care associated with DMEPOS. A final decision is expected from CMS by early November.
Homeland Security Appropriations Bill Includes Drug Importation Provision
On September 29, 2006, both chambers of the United States Congress adopted a conference committee report for the 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill (HR 5441) that includes a provision relating to prescription drug importation. Based on information from the Congressional Web site, the language included in the Homeland Security Appropriations conference report does not allow US Customs and Border Protection to use their appropriation in such a way that would prevent the importation of a 90-day supply of prescription drugs for personal use. The bill reads as follows:
Sec. 540. None of the funds made available in this Act for United States Customs and Border Protection may be used to prevent an individual not in the business of importing a prescription drug (within the meaning of section 801(g) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) from importing a prescription drug that complies with sections 501, 502, and 505 of such Act.
Having passed both chambers of Congress, HR 5441 was sent to President Bush for his consideration on October 3, 2006. For more information on the bill, please visit http://www.thomas.gov.
Pain and Policy Report Reveals Improved State Policies on Opioids
A recent report by the Pain and Policy Studies Group (PPSG) reveals improvement in state policies governing the medical use of opioid mediations. The report, “Achieving Balance in State Pain Policy,” is the group’s third evaluation of such policies over a six-year period. Affiliated with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, PPSG evaluated states for balanced policies “with a potential to enhance pain management while avoiding the potential to interfere with such treatment.”
The report reveals improvement in state policies between 2003 and 2006, with 19 states demonstrating improvement in pain policies and no states showing weakened policies. Improvement in policies was demonstrated in two major ways: 1) the adoption by state health care regulatory boards of policies encouraging pain management, palliative care, or end-of-life care; and 2) the repeal by state legislatures of restrictive or ambiguous policy language, including multiple- or single-copy prescription programs.
MPJE State-specific Review Meeting Ensures Current Examinations
Each year, NABP requests that all states participating in the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination® (MPJE®) program review their pool of questions in January to ensure that the most current and complete state pools are in the field in time for the large influx of candidates who test between June and August. To assist the boards, NABP reimburses up to two review participants from each state for approved expenses (travel, food, and lodging) for each day of the MPJE State-specific Review Meeting. The next MPJE State-specific Review Meeting will be held January 18-21, 2007, at the Marriott Austin at the Capitol in Austin, TX. The deadline for notification of board participation has been extended to Friday, October 13; additional participation forms are available by e-mailing email@example.com.