Worse, only four drug makers were responsible for more than half of those “errors,” and just two drugs accounted for 90 percent of those lost rebates.
What drug makers? What drugs? The HHS inspector general won’t say.
Wait wait, it gets better. The problem could be worse, but even if CMS thinks there’s some shenanigans going on, the agency has no power to compel drug makers to provide information. (Mylan got caught in 2016 because its competitor tipped off the government.)
The inspector general thinks this should change.
* When the drug maker tries to pay a lower rebate by claiming a drug is generic rather than a brand-name product
C. diff culprit nabbed
There’s been a quiet epidemic of C. difficile infections around the country over the past 20 years (“the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals,” per the CDC), and no one knew where it was coming from.
Remember: In Georgia (like most states) pharmacists do not need a prescription to dispense naloxone, nor any extra training. You only need a copy of the standing order of the commissioner of public health, available at GPhA.org/naloxone.
Pfizer wasn’t far behind, though, with a combined $26.6 million to promote Xeljanz XR and Lyrica during the month. (If you include the $16.7 million it and Bristol-Myers Squibb spent promoting Eliquis, Pfizer actually tops the list.)
Johnson & Johnson took the number-three spot with $23.5 million on Xarelto.
But there’s a ray of hope: Scientists from the University of California are teaming up with Mars (the company, not the god) to use — you guessed it — CRISPR to try to save the plant.
Cacao plants occupy a precarious position on the globe. They can only grow within a narrow strip of rainforested land roughly 20 degrees north and south of the equator, where temperature, rain, and humidity all stay relatively constant throughout the year. Over half of the world’s chocolate now comes from just two countries in West Africa — Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
As the climate changes, it pushes the growing area further up the mountains to the point it becomes inaccessible.
It would have Medicare pay for “certain pharmacist services that: (1) are furnished by a pharmacist in a health-professional shortage area, and (2) would otherwise be covered under Medicare if furnished by a physician.”
Contact your senators and ask them to support S. 109.
Johnny Isakson: Phone: (770) 661-0999; fax: (770) 661-0768
David Perdue: Phone: (404) 865-0087; fax (404) 865-0311