Magazine article Drug Topics

Diabetes Medication Management Spurs Chain Competition

Magazine article Drug Topics

Diabetes Medication Management Spurs Chain Competition

Article excerpt

Competition in the diabetes medication therapy and supply market is likely to intensify through 2011. Contributing factors include the Medicare mandate calling for competitive bidding programs for durable medical equipment and supplies; consolidation and expansion of large, remotely managed disease-oriented pharmacy benefit programs; and stepped-up attention nationwide to tracking and improving diabetes-related health outcomes.

Community pharmacies are reeling from the Medicare mandate calling for competitive bidding for durable medical equipment, In response, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to permanently exempt community pharmacies from competitive bidding for diabetes supplies. It also has asked CMS not to use competitive bidding price points in future payments, said John Norton, NCPAs assodate director, public relations.

Relief from competitive bidding cannot come soon enough as pharmades seek ways to better serve their patients through diabetes medication management.

"Fifty-six percent of our members are in rural America," said Bill Popomaronis, vice president, long-term and home health care pharmacy services, NCPA, "They provide critical face-to-face contact and convenient access."

Diabetes medication management is "complicated enough that you need to have faceto-face interventions so that you can spot infections," said R, Keith Campbell, RPh, MBA, FASHB CDE, professor at the Washington State University College of Pharmacy, Pullman, Campbell pioneered certification of pharmacists as diabetes educators and he has been instrumental in setting up diabetes training programs for pharmacists across the country.

In January, NCPA and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) held the first of 4 sessions focusing throughout the year on teaching pharmacists how to establish an accredited education training program in diabetes self -management. Pharmacists must complete an online component before parüdpating in the sessions.

"This is an opportunity for oemmunity pharmacists to not only provide valuable public health service but get reimbursed for it," said Popomaronis.

Tough competition

Even as independent pharmacists expand training, they are feeing tough competition from mail-order and chain stores, Medco, one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), manages a diabetes therapeutic resource center. …

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