Pharmacy

Parent Issue

DEA Moves Cannabis-Derived Drug From Schedule I to Schedule V

The Drug Enforcement Administration has moved Epidiolex from Schedule I to Schedule V. According to All Facilities Letter 19-06, issued last week by the California Department of Public Health, cannabis-derived drugs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and that have no more than 0.1 percent residual tetrahydrocannabinols will be moved to Schedule V. Currently, only Epidiolex meets those requirements. Drugs that do not meet these criteria may not be prescribed or dispensed.

Changes Proposed for Drug Discount Safe Harbor Protections

The Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a proposed rule that would remove the Anti-Kickback Statute safe harbor protection for drug rebates paid by drug makers to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), Part D plans and Medicaid managed care organizations.

DHCS Reminds Providers That New Fee-for-Service Pharmacy Reimbursement Begins Feb. 23

Beginning Feb. 23, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will implement a new fee-for-service reimbursement methodology for covered outpatient drugs. The methodology will reimburse the lower of the actual acquisition cost (as determined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), the federal upper limit, the maximum allowable ingredient cost, and the pharmacy’s usual and customary charge. For more details about the changes, visit the DHCS website.

Additional FAQs Issued on New State Law for Opioid Prescriptions

Last week, CHA shared information about problems some providers have had in implementing a new state law requiring controlled substance security prescription forms to include a unique serial number. This week, the California Board of Pharmacy released updated frequently asked questions about the law’s requirements and enforcement. 

Providers Report Problems Implementing New State Law for Opioid Prescriptions

As of Jan. 1, controlled substance security prescription forms must include a new, unique serial number in a format approved by the Department of Justice. However, the new requirement does not allow for a transition period during which providers would be allowed to use the previously approved form, and those who do not have access to the new forms have been forced to choose between denying care and risking action against their licenses.

New Law Requires Prescribers to Offer Approved Drugs for Opioid Depression

Prescribers are now required to offer naloxone hydrochloride, or another drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration, to patients who experience certain conditions related to opioid depression. The Medical Board of California has released frequently asked questions to assist providers in implementing the new requirements, which took effect Jan. 1.