A recent report released by California health officials revealed that drug prices are still on the rise – even despite California’s drug-price transparency laws aimed at curbing drug cost.

In 2017, California passed a drug-price transparency law that requires manufacturers to notify its customers at least 60 days in advance if they plan to increase

As always, the American Society for Pharmacy Law (“ASPL”) gathered pharmacy attorneys and pharmacists for an excellent three-day conference focusing on pharmacy legal issues. Some of the highlights of the conference:

Regulatory updates: Despite various state and federal attempts to lower drug prices, they continue to grow mostly due to high deductible plans, cost-sharing, increased

Only a few exceptions exist to the rule that a pharmacist must dispense pursuant to a valid prescription. Such exceptions are: furnishing emergency contraceptives, hormonal contraceptives, and naloxone hydrochloride. Beginning next year, pharmacists in California also will be able to dispense HIV prevention drugs without prescriptions.

Senate Bill 159 authorizes pharmacists to furnish a 30-day

 CVS has been dominating the news lately: CVS-Aetna merger, CVS’s free drug deliveries, its efforts to curb opioid epidemic, etc. This post is about a recent litigation commenced by CVS against its ex-executive John Lavin to prevent him from working for a competitor, Pill Pack. After Amazon purchased PillPack last year, CVS’s

   The CVS-Aetna merger has been one of the longest mergers in healthcare history. On September 4, 2019, the federal judge issued his final ruling approving the proposed settlement of the federal challenge to the merger. The judicial review took eleven months with multiple applications of the “public-interest” test as provided by the Tunney Act.

The

  For a period of time, federal and state agencies made concerted efforts to control the cost of prescription drug spending, agreeing to use a reimbursement methodology that best reflects actual drug costs. Many states, however, used different methodologies to calculate drug cost. According to the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), such fluctuations in methodologies

         A survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) revealed that almost all independent pharmacies experience significant increase in drug acquisition cost while reimbursements are not simultaneously adjusted to reflect the increase. Often, reimbursements are adjusted but with remarkable delays. When pharmacies appeal these MAC reimbursements and delays in adjusting generic pricing, the appeals

   In 2018, CMS proposed a Medicare rule that would eliminate retroactive DIR fees. One of the rationales for the rule was a colossal growth of DIRs between 2010 and 2017. During this period of time, DIRs grew by 45,000%.

As a result of this aggressive “performance enforcement” by PBMs, many pharmacies are reimbursed below cost

More and more states are mandating e-prescribing. Some states require e-prescribing only for CII controlled substances, some for all controlled substances, and some require e-scripts for all medications.

States with current e-Rx mandate laws are:

    • Connecticut (e-prescribing for controlled substances only, no penalties for non-compliance)
    • Maine (e-prescribing for controlled substances only, penalties provided)
    • Minnesota (all