Category Archives: Pharmacy, Drugs, Medical Devices & Equipment

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FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Drug and Device Information on Social Media

The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) recently issued two draft guidance documents relating to the use of Twitter and other social media by drug and medical device companies. Emphasizing that companies must give a balanced presentation of their products, the Agency stated that companies must provide risk information along with any benefit information within a tweet or similar promotional message.… Continue Reading

Florida Board of Pharmacy Clarifies that Pharmacies Can’t Compound Sterile Human Drugs for “Office Use”

The Florida Board of Pharmacy rules allow pharmacies to engage in office-use compounding. Rule 64B16-27.700, FAC. This allows pharmacies to compound drugs for physicians to use in treating their patients in the office without writing a patient-specific prescription. It does not allow the physician to dispense the office-use drugs to their patients (i.e. give the patient a supply to take … Continue Reading

Florida Says Can Do To Medical Cannabis

In the waning days of the 2014 legislative session, the Florida Legislature passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014.  It is a very limited medical marijuana bill with very strict restrictions and conditions on use.  The bill allows access to only low-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) cannabis (so-called “Charlotte’s Web”) for persons with cancer or another condition that produces seizures or … Continue Reading

Florida Acknowledges Exemption for Intracompany Sales of Pharmaceuticals

A new declaratory statement from Florida regulators clarifies the restrictions on intracompany sales of pharmaceuticals.  Previously, if one pharmacy in Florida wanted to send a bottle of prescription medicine to its sister pharmacy down the street, it had to obtain a type of wholesale drug distributor permit, as well as provide pedigree papers for the drug.  However, the new decision … Continue Reading

FDA Launches Medical Device ID Requirement

On September 24, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a new rule requiring medical devices to bear special ID numbers. The numbers, called Unique Device Identifiers or UDIs, will identify the manufacturer, the specific model of a device, and other information such as batch or lot codes, serial numbers, and expiration dates. The UDIs are intended to improve … Continue Reading

HHS Makes Good on Its Promise: Releases HIPAA Guidance for Refill Reminder Programs

As previously reported, HHS announced earlier this month that it would be providing clarification on the HIPAA Privacy Rule as it relates to marketing and prescription refill reminder programs.  On September 19, 2013, HHS made good on that promise when the Office for Civil Rights announced guidance on when refill reminders and other communications about drugs currently being prescribed … Continue Reading

HHS to Revamp Limits on Payments to Pharmacies for Refill Reminder Programs

The HIPAA Privacy Regulations have long required covered entities to seek a patient authorization in order to use or disclose protected health information (“PHI”) for marketing purposes. However, the Office for Civil Rights made it clear in its Q and A on its website that pharmacies were allowed to provide refill reminders to patients without an authorization as this was … Continue Reading

Florida Board of Pharmacy Approves the Centralized Prescription Filling Rule (Central Fill Pharmacy) for Hospital Pharmacies

On August 14, 2013 the Florida Board of Pharmacy voted to approve central fill pharmacy in a hospital setting. Centralized prescription filling or “central fill” is where two pharmacies separate the duties and responsibilities of dispensing a prescription. Generally, one pharmacy will receive the prescription and send it to, or share it with, another pharmacy with which it has an

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Physician Face-to-Face Encounter Now Required by Medicare for Extensive List of DME Items

Physicians and Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers need to be aware that, effective July 1, 2013, and to be enforced as of October 1, 2013, Medicare requires a physician/patient face-to-face encounter within 6 months prior to the physicians order for an item on an extensive DME list. This type of face-to-face encounter has been required since 2006 for power wheel … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Pharmaceutical “Pay For Delay” Agreements Are Subject to Anti-Trust Review

The Supreme Court struck a blow for consumers when it ruled the Federal Trade Commission may file suit to prevent pharmaceutical companies from agreeing to pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generic drugs off the market for a specified period of time. Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. (June 17, 2013).

The Court ruled that “pay for delay arrangements” … Continue Reading

New Challenge to Medicare Requirement that Ancillary Providers Obtain Physician Records to Justify Medical Necessity

For years now, ancillary providers ranging from durable medical equipment providers (DMEs), independent diagnostic testing facilities (IDTFs), and home health agencies have been required under Medicare regulations to obtain copies of referring physicians’ medical records to prove medical necessity for the items and services the physician ordered. Providers are to utilize a template “Dear Physician” letter created by CMS that … Continue Reading

Recent Judicial Activity on the Pharmacy Front

Reimbursement for the Difference Between the Brand and Generic Drug

Graphic Communications Local 1B Health & Welfare Fund “A”, et al., Appellants, vs. CVS Caremark Corporation, et al.,  State of Minnesota Court Of Appeals, Case No. A12-1555 (May 6, 2013).

A recent decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a case against pharmacies for not … Continue Reading

Requested Chocolate Milk Change Highlights FDA Labeling Authority

Chocolate milk is serious business in school lunchrooms – and at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). The FDA is calling for public comments about a requested change to milk labeling laws as a potential way to reduce childhood obesity. Currently, flavored milk, such as chocolate milk, that contains artificial sweeteners must be labeled as “no sugar added” chocolate … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Pharmaceutical “Pay for Delay” Case

The United States Supreme Court is set to decide whether a patent holder can pay to keep a challenger out of the market, or whether doing so violates antitrust laws.

Drug manufacturers are granted patents on their products for 20 years, giving them an exclusive right to manufacture and market the patented drug.  In order to bring a generic version … Continue Reading

FDA Warns Against Unproven Flu Drug Claims

The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) recently issued a series of warning letters to companies marketing products unapproved by the Agency that claim to prevent the flu.  Some companies advertised  the product would “Safeguard you from deadly flu viruses” or “fight off influenza.”  Others claimed to be generic Tamiflu or “the most effective alternative to the flu shot.”  The problem?  … Continue Reading

Florida Board of Pharmacy Continues to Review Sterile Compounding Issues

In light of the horrific meningitis outbreak attributed to drugs compounded by Massachusetts’ New England Compounding Center (“NECC”) in 2012, state boards of pharmacy around the country are undertaking a comprehensive review of their regulations governing sterile compounding and the enforcement of existing and new regulations. Sterile compounding generally involves a pharmacy compounding drugs that enter the body by way … Continue Reading

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