Contact us



Choose your currency

Choose your preferred language

News and Promotions

H1N1 on the horizon: Here's how to prepare your practice -- and staff

The exact number of people who will contact A(H1N1)-related illnesses is unpredictable. The disruption around the office when H1N1 hits is certain. This fall and winter promise lots of patients sick with some kind of flu -- or fearful that they are -- as well as depleted staff levels when employees get sick or have to stay home with someone who is. That's why experts are advising physicians to plan now for what is expected to be a very unusual, active flu season. Those who don't prepare will quickly be overwhelmed, said John Fontanesi, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He is working with the American Medical Association to create tools for physicians to make planning easier. Beyond managing vaccine schedules, physician practices are advised to consider cross-training employees, having staff work from home, keeping those with H1N1 symptoms away from other patients, and even directing patients elsewhere to minimize disruption and illness spre ...

Pharmacists seek to block Medicaid drug pay rule

Pharmacists are urging lawmakers to rewrite a Bush administration rule that would reduce their Medicaid payment for many generic drugs to below acquisition costs, possibly reducing Medicaid enrollees' access to prescriptions. Pharmacists' trade associations celebrated in 2007 and 2008, when first a federal court and then Congress blocked the implementation of a Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services rule lowering federal Medicaid payment limits for generic drugs. The rule -- required by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 -- would have lowered the pay for many generic Medicaid drugs to less than what the drugs cost pharmacists, according to a 2006 Government Accountability Office report. CMS disagreed with that conclusion, saying the GAO report did not account for other provisions in the act that would mitigate the rule's impact. The CMS rule was a response to findings that federal upper payment limits were overly generous. For example, a 2007 report by the Dept. of Health and ...

Pfizer pays record $2.3 billion in off-label drug marketing settlement

A $2.3 billion settlement with Pfizer Inc. over off-label drug promotion has industry observers wondering whether the record-breaking deal will deter drugmakers from talking up unapproved medication uses with doctors. A Pfizer subsidiary, Pharmacia & Upjohn Co., agreed to plead guilty in early September to a felony violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for misbranding its COX-2 inhibitor, Bextra, for off-label uses. The company agreed to pay $1.3 billion in criminal fines for systematically promoting off-label Bextra use to physicians through marketing materials, drug rep talking points and more. Pfizer will pay another $1 billion to settle whistle-blower lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act that alleged the company promoted off-label uses of Bextra, Geodon, Zyvox and Lyrica from 2001 to 2008. According to whistle-blower lawsuits and the settlement, Pfizer allegedly used tactics such as ghostwritten articles and drug rep-falsified doctor requests for off-label informa ...