FOR OWNERS: APC’s 2021 Summit is just for you!

Inspiring your team. Growing your business. Staying in compliance. Financial planning. The best decisions your peers have made. Those and more are part of APC’s 2021 Compounding Pharmacy Owner Summit, coming March 25–27, 2021 IN PERSON at The Westin at Jekyll Island, Georgia.

It’s a first-ever event for APC: A concentrated dose of learning, planning, and networking especially for compounding pharmacy leaders. Two days of meaty presentations and conversations focused on helping you run your business better.

See the details at A4PC.org/ownersummit, then register today — and get your compounding business in high gear.

NCPA sues HHS

The National Community Pharmacists Association has had enough: It’s suing HHS over DIR fees. Specifically, it’s suing over the exception in Medicare regulations — the loophole, really — that allows PBMs to continue to charge clawbacks to pharmacies filling Medicare Part D prescriptions.

“HHS initially said the exception would address a very narrow set of circumstances,” NCPA wrote, “but instead has opened a ‘Pandora’s box’ for Part D plans and their PBMs.”

Pointing out that DIR fees rose a whopping 45,000 percent between 2010 and 2017, and that calls for reform have been rejected, “a lawsuit challenging the validity of pharmacy DIR fees is necessary to protect the downstream consumers.”

The suit claims that the rule “violates the plain language and intent of Congress when [it] passed legislation creating the Medicare Part D program,” that the rule is arbitrary and capricious, and that it “was not adopted through proper notice-and-comment rulemaking.”

You can read the details of the suit here.

FDA extends comment period on 503B Bulks List

Last week, FDA announced that it was reopening the comment period for it’s proposed updated 503B Bulks List — the “bulk drug substances (active pharmaceutical ingredients) that FDA has considered and proposes to include or not include on the list of bulk drug substances for which there is a clinical need.”

Comments can now be submitted until February 8, 2021, and APC is considering commenting.

Simply put: We welcome member input about what should be the substance of those comments. Nothing formal (on your end); all you need to do is send an email to scott@a4pc.org.

Help us reach pharmacy schools

If you precept pharmacy students, we’ve got an offer for you — one we think will be attractive to students with an interest in compounding. Would you mind sharing this communication with the leaders of any student chapters of national associations?

Part of APC’s mission is to provide information and training to pharmacy students who want to learn more about compounding, particularly the policy issues facing the profession.

Here’s the offer: If your school of pharmacy has (or recruits) 20 or more student pharmacists as APC student members, we’ll provide an hour-long lunchtime education opportunity via Zoom on any of the following topics:

Our APC student membership dues are only $5 a year, and joining is easy: Just go to A4PC.org/join.

Consider this offer and please pass it along to the proper student leaders. And if you or your student chapters wish to schedule one of these Zoom sessions, please contact our membership director, Drew Floyd, at drew@a4pc.org. (And if there is any other way APC can be helpful to you, please let us know.)

Compounder, elevate yourself

Watch your mailbox! Coming soon is Pharmacy Compounding Leader, the first issue of our new newsletter showcasing the updated Pharmacy Compounding Professional’s Code of Ethics, along with five APC members who take to heart not only the letter, but the spirit of the Code — demonstrating the kind of deep commitment to their communities and patients that every compounder should strive for.

Who speaks for compounders in your state?

We all know compounding is under-represented on state boards of pharmacy, and it’s important that state pharmacy boards hear what compounders have to say. That’s where you come in.

APC’s Stateside Coalition is a group of compounders who have volunteered to be our eyes and ears and voice when compounding issues are being considered by state boards and state legislatures. They attend board of pharmacy meetings and report back to us, and they attend legislative committee meetings speak for us — using testimony APC can help prepare.

Right now we’re missing volunteers for several states, and ideally, we’d like to have multiple volunteers for each state. If you’re interested in volunteering to be a Stateside Coalition member for your state, email us at info@a4pc.org.

Sales-tax permits and nonprescription drugs

It’s happened to all of us: You wake in the middle of the night thinking, “I know prescription drugs are not subject to sales tax in most states (except Illinois for some reason), but do I still have to file sales-tax permits in each state for nonprescription drugs or supplements?”

Well, as it turns out, the folks at TaxJar have looked into this question and compiled a state-by-state list.

Here’s the tally: Nonprescription drugs are taxable in 37 states, specifically tax-exempt in 10 states, and four states don’t have a sales tax at all (D.C. included in the exempted states).

In addition to Illinois taxing prescriptions, TaxJar also mentions that, although Louisiana exempts tax on prescription drugs at the state level, local areas in that state can opt to tax them. TaxJar also provides an API to help pharmacists and others assign product tax codes to products sold.

Here are two resources worth checking out:

We’ve exceeded our first cBHT fundraising goal!

APC has not only met, but well exceeded our initial $250,000 fundraising goal for our cBHT Media Campaign.

As of yesterday, we’ve raised $383,333 — including a $94,976 match from APC member Shaun Noorian of Empower Pharmacy in Houston*.

Because we’ve met that initial fundraising goal, we’re already at work refining the creative concept, testing messaging, determining media placements — and maybe more important for you — creating resources and tools you can use in your pharmacies to inform and engage your patients in this effort.

Thank you to all the compounders who stepped up to support the first phase of this important work. But we’re not done. Not even close. We turn now to the task of raising — quickly — $1 million to fund the ad placements for 2021 alone. You’ll soon hear more about how we plan to do that, as well as our efforts to recruit vendors and foundations in the compounding space to help fund this work.

Together — on behalf of millions of patients whose compounded hormone therapy is threatened by FDA — we’re moving forward. Let’s keep it up!

 

EduCon Virtual 2021 Registration is OPEN

Compounding moves pretty fast. If you don’t have the basics down pat, it can mess you up.

Best practices. They’re the key to a well-run compounding operation. To keeping patients safe. And yes, to preserving your reputation.

That’s why APC’s EduCon Virtual 2021 is focused on best practices in compounding, and it’s coming fast: February 4-5, 2021. Co-hosted with the Ohio Pharmacists Association, the virtual event offers nine CPE hours for both pharmacists and technicians — and it’s all aimed at assuring your team practices with high competence and integrity!

The value of community

ICYMI, be sure to read this wonderful story about compounding pharmacist Eddie Levin who lost his job — and whose neighbors came to the rescue. Nothing we write could better demonstrate the value of serving your community.

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