WVPA News: October 9

The West Virginia Pharmacists Association will hold its 112th Annual Convention, October 19 and 20, 2019, at the Marriott Hotel in Charleston. Pharmacists can earn up to 11.5 hours of approved continuing education by attending the event. Awards will be presented pharmacists for having attained selected professional accomplishments. Call WVPA 304-344-5302 to register. Call the Marriott 304-345-6500 for reservations.

When WV Medicaid started the managed care prescription drug benefit program, state officials were relying on an actuarial study forecasting a $30 million savings for the state. The outcome was a savings of $54.4 million the first year of the carve out. In addition to the savings, the prescription drug benefit cave out resulted in $122 million paid to West Virginia pharmacies in the form of fixed dispensing fees.

Drug makers and their middlemen counterparts dodged hard blows from members of Congress over the high cost of prescription drugs. Lawmakers hammered drug makers and PBMs with questions, accusation, and screeds. And the threats from powerful lawmakers about reworking the entire prescription drug pricing system rang out the loudest of all. When Eli Lilly Senior Vice President Mike Mason tried to point to the fact that his company had launched a half-priced authorized generic version of its insulin Humalog, Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) retorted: “So it took 15 years and a global outcry on this to do it?”

U.S. senators have asked the inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department to investigate a practice by pharmacy benefit managers known as spread pricing. PBMs are paying one set of price to pharmacies for a particular drug, but the’re turning around and charging Medicaid and other health-care payers far more for that same prescription, said one senator.

A pharmacy technician who has obtained a national certification and practiced in another jurisdiction for at least a year is eligible to apply for reciprocity in West Virginia. The individual must be in good standing in the original state of jurisdiction. He or she must still apply as a pharmacy technician trainee and complete the 20-hour, site-specific training program.

The applicant will then apply to be a pharmacy technician by providing satisfactory proof to the WV Board of Pharmacy of his or her licensure status with the board of pharmacy in the state in which the individual was licensed and proof of national certification.

The DEA will hold a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event on Saturday, October 26, from 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. at participating locations nationwide. DEA will list collection sites on its website.