Pharmacists Talks Continue Over Adding 'Heart Failure'

8 hours ago
National Cancer Institute

Florida pharmacists and physicians continue to wrangle about medical treatment patients will be able to receive at pharmacies.

After nearly three hours of discussion Monday, members of the Florida Board of Pharmacy Rules Committee voted to add “heart failure” to a list of chronic conditions, enumerated in a proposed rule, that pharmacists could treat.

The full Board of Pharmacy will consider the proposed regulation at a meeting Wednesday.

Florida Pharmacy Dispensing Rule Changes Approved

Feb 6, 2020
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would increase the amount of medicine that can be dispensed at certain pharmacies across the state. 

Pharmacy Kiosks Could Be Coming

Nov 7, 2019
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The convenience of getting prescriptions filled at a kiosk could soon be a reality, under a bill moving through the state House.

But not everyone agrees it’s a good idea. 

Skyrocketing prices of insulin in recent years have increased medical costs for the millions of people living with diabetes around the country and in Florida. 

Drug Database Bill Goes To DeSantis

Jun 14, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday formally received 22 bills from the Legislature, including a measure that Attorney General Ashley Moody has sought to help in a legal fight against the pharmaceutical industry. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A state pharmacy board on Monday criticized the Florida Legislature for not passing a bill that would have allowed Florida pharmacists to test and treat people for the flu and strep throat.

Pill bottles in a pharmacy
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

The owner of an Orlando pharmacy was sentenced to 13 years in prison for a health care kickback scheme.

Pharmacy 'Gag Clauses' Targeted

Feb 21, 2018
Pill bottles in a pharmacy
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Contracts between insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers would be prevented from including “gag clauses” regarding drug costs, under a bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.

There are many moving parts in the nation’s ongoing health care debate. One of the most embattled at the moment is the pharmaceutical industry. Now those companies have launched a counter-offensive to try and repair their tarnished image.

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Eight people face charges after authorities say they received $157 million in fraudulent insurance claims as part of a scheme involving prescription compounding pharmacies in Pasco County and the Miami area.

Between Oct. 2012 and Dec. 2015 the suspects are accused of submitting $633 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims for prescription compounded medication to Medicare, Tricare and private insurance companies, authorities said.

Pharmacist Narender Dhallan winces as he looks at a computer screen in his drugstore on a recent morning. For the second time in two hours, he has to decide whether to fill a prescription and lose money or send his customer away.

This time it's for a generic antifungal cream that cost him $180 wholesale. The customer's insurance, however, will pay Dhallan only $60 to fill it.

"This used to be something that would happen once in a rare, rare while," Dhallan says. "Now it's becoming routine."

Cafecito, bilingual staff, money transfer services, an expanded discount fragrance counter. But wait -- “y más.”

CVS has launched 12 “CVS/pharmacy y más” stores in South Florida. In Miami, Hialeah, Doral, Homestead and Kendall, CVS says it has converted 11 existing locations and added a brand-new store to launch its Hispanic-centric store concept.

This comes less than a year after the Rhode Island-based giant bought Miami-based Navarro Discount Pharmacy, touted as the largest Hispanic-owned drugstore chain in the country.

A bill that would create a pilot program for state employees to find the least-expensive doctors and hospitals when they need certain elective medical procedures was approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday, the Florida Current reports.

Saying it is "the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," the CEO of CVS Caremark announced Wednesday that the company's 7,600 pharmacies will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products by Oct. 1.

Larry Merlo also said CVS will try to help those who want to quit smoking with a "robust national smoking cessation program" at its locations.

A Palm Beach Gardens physician on trial for selling steroids and hormone treatments through the Internet took the stand to say  he’s just passionate about helping men increase testosterone levels so they can be healthier and live longer.

Doctors and pharmacists accused of running one of the nation’s largest steroid supply rings are on trial in federal court, the Palm Beach Post reports.

WSVN-TV/7 News

It doesn't pay to be too good at your job if you're an investigator for the state Department of Health, according to a report on WSVN-TV/7 News in Miami. An investigator and his supervisor, both of whom were said by outsiders to be good at finding illegal activity in the health professions, are no longer employed at DOH.

The Compounding Shop in St. Petersburg has agreed to recall all of its sterile drugs, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The FDA says it’s a precaution and there have been no reports of illness.  As Health News Florida reported last month, that pharmacy was included on a list of pharmacies where federal investigators found dangerous conditions. 

Naples Daily News

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is attempting to revoke the licenses of six Walgreens pharmacies to prescribe controlled substances after an inspection raised questions about existing inventory.  A distribution center investigated by the DEA also faces possible revocation, according to the Naples Daily News


Stephan Savoia / Associated Press

When the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak exploded into headlines two months ago, Florida health officials responded quickly, tracking the contaminated drug lots and finding potential victims. At least 25 in Florida were sickened, and three died.

While the response was swift, Florida health officials concede the state failed to foresee the danger and take steps to reduce the risk. New England Compounding Center, identified as the source of the tainted drugs, had a Florida non-resident license that allowed it to send drugs into the state.