Pharmacy Update: July 10

The number of measles has fallen the past few weeks. The number reached 1,109 across 28 states — no reports in West Virginia.

Novartis launched Adamis allergy shots in U.S. pharmacies amid EpiPen shortages.

The mayors of Grafton and Phillip, WV, are suing Purdue Pharma for their part in the opioid crisis that has ravaged West Virginia.

Judge halts prescription drug ads. Drug ads that were to be shown on TV – reporting the price of drugs – have been stopped by a federal judge. The Trump administration had called for the ads, saying, “American patients deserve to know the prices of the healthcare they receive.” Manufacturers successful in stopping the ads included Merck, Eli Lilly and Amegen.

Physicians complain that there’s not yet a standard drug-pricing tool available to them that includes the range of medicine prices each of their patients might fact — one that takes into account their particular pharmacy choice and health insurance plan.

Giving a women a full year’s supply of birth control pills would prevent more unintended pregnancies, according to a study t of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Our analysis shows that concerns about wastage of contraceptive pills are overshadowed by the potential consequences of missed refills, and especially of unintended pregnancies,” said researchers.

“Family Planning Access Act” – A new West Virginia law allows women to obtain birth control from their pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription, according to the July 9 issue of West Virginia Pharmacists Association mailed members. Pharmacists who want to administer contraceptives will have to undergo training to learn of the different types of contraceptives, different brands and the potential risks associated with prescribing them.

The July 9 WVPA newsletter also reported retail pharmacies are sitting on top of one of the most explosive opportunities in the past decade with the availability of CBD going public. According to the newsletter, there are so many products to choose from that it can be difficult to know what products are high-quality and which are not.

U. S. Congressman Alex X. Mooney (R-WV) responded to WVPA Executive Director Richard Stevens that he cosponsored The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which protects rural pharmacies to ensure prescriptions covered by Medicare are available. Stevens requested the Congressman support the legislation.

Pharmacists flex their clinical muscles, build revenue and help patients. According to the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2018 Digest, 73% of independent pharmacists are immunizing. The percentage immunizing has steadily grown over the last five years, with more than 340,000 pharmacists trained to administer vaccines.