Magazine article Drug Topics

FTC Won't Budge

Magazine article Drug Topics

FTC Won't Budge

Article excerpt

Freedom-of-choice legislation is a hot topic in state legislatures, but the Federal Trade Commission continues to throw cold water on one of community pharmacy's major goals. Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Washington are among the states where freedom of choice is on the legislative agenda. When asked by local lawmakers for comment, the FTC replies with virtually identical letters offering the staff opinion that if the measures were enacted, "there would be little incentive for providers to compete in developing attractive or innovative proposals."

Arkansas: The home state of President Clinton has become the first in the nation to enact distinct Medicaid coverage for home infusion therapy not tied to the Rx benefit. An old pharmacist ally of the President's, Sen. Reid Holiman, was the chief sponsor. Reimbursement was moved from product-based to service-based, following a hospital rather than out-patient model.

Arizona: Computers are being used for drug utilization reviews by about 78% of the respondents to a survey by the state board of pharmacy. The majority of the computer capabilities included drug-drug interaction, therapeutic duplication, and drug-allergy interaction. But more than half did not include drug-disease contraindications, OTC-drug interaction, incorrect dosage, or clinical abuse/misuse.

Georgia: A new law will forbid physicians from referring patients to pharmacies or any other health-care entity in which they have an investment interest. …

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