Pharmacy Update: August 21

On August 15, the CDC released updated human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination recommendations. According to the press release, “The CDC reaffirmed that its prior recommendations for kids stand: boys and girls should get their first dose of the HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old, and a second dose six to 12 months later. If they do not get vaccinated on time, ‘catch-up vaccination’ should be implemented by the time they turn 26, the CDC now recommends. The HPV vaccine can help protect children from developing six types of cancer in adulthood.”

Health officials have been monitoring the national upward trend of hepatitis A cases that are occurring in almost every state. Individuals who are not vaccinated are at risk of becoming infected with the liver disease, which is highly contagious and is spread from person to person from feces or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A thrives in unsanitary conditions and is spread mostly among drug users and the homeless.

PBMs negotiated $18 billion worth of rebates from drug manufactures within Medicare’s prescription drug program in 2016, and they retained less than 1% of those rebates for themselves, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

According to a study of nearly 12,000 patients in 43 hospitals in Michigan, surgeons reduced by nearly one-third the number of pills they prescribed patients with no reported drop in patient satisfaction or increase in reported pain. Overall, doctors prescribed eight fewer pills per patient across nine common surgical procedures. This was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New research shows nationally certified pharmacy technicians are more committed to a pharmacy career and have a greater desire to take on new and expanded responsibilities that noncertified. The study was published in the June 2019 Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

Face-to-Face interactions with pharmacists continue to be important to consumers, according to a J.D. Power’s survey. And, customers satisfaction tend to be higher when consumers have more in-depth discussions with the pharmacist and staff.

Consumers living with chronic conditions or taking multiple medications are more likely to want coaching from a pharmacist and will need more care coordination to manage their medications. About 42% of customers who are aware of their pharmacy’s health and wellness services have used one of the services in the past year.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Tuesday made its generic version of Mylan’s EpiPen for young children available in most retail pharmacies at $300 for a two-pack. The world’s largest generic drugmaker, Teva is already selling the product for adults.

Endo International Plc and Allergan Plc have agreed to pay $15 million to avoid going to trial in October in a landmark case by two Ohio counties accusing various drug manufactures and distributors of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic.

McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmericourseBergen, according to news releases, have proposed paying $10 billion to settle claims they they helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic. The National Association of Attorneys General countered with a demand of $45 billion to cover costs from the public-health crisis of opioid addiction and overdoses.