Update on Hematologic Drug Shortages
Bleomycin Injection Shortage Resolved
The FDA reports the shortage of Bleomycin Injection has been resolved. The majormanufacturers of the product (APP, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Hospira Inc.) do not anticipate any additional supply issues. Read more.
Search for Drug Shortage Solutions Continue; ASH Advocacy is Critical
During the past few months, ASH has been pleased that several shortages of hematology drugs have been mitigated, but the Society remains concerned that many ongoing shortages continue and new shortages are reported weekly. ASH has endorsed several bills (S. 296/ H.R. 2245, The Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act and H.R. 3839, the Drug Shortage Prevention Act) that would give FDA the authority and resources it needs to effectively prevent and mitigate future drug shortages.
It is critical that Members of Congress continue to hear from their physician constituents about the need to support drug shortage legislation. Earlier this week, ASH's Committee on Government Affairs met with congressional offices to explain the negative effect these problems have on hematologists and their patients. ASH urged Members of Congress to support The Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act and the Drug Shortage Prevention Act. All ASH members are encouraged to participate in the Society's advocacy efforts to combat drug shortages by visiting the ASH Advocacy Center today. Read more.
News from Washington
Supreme Court to Determine Constitutionality of Health Reform Law
Next week (March 26-28) the U.S. Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It is not clear on how the justices will rule and several Court followers predict two to four “swing votes”. The ruling is expected in June or July – in the heat of the presidential election. To be determined: Will they strike down the individual mandate and leave the rest of the law intact? Will they alter or strike the Medicaid expansions in the law? Will they decide that no one will have standing to challenge the law until someone has to pay a penalty in 2015 for not being insured? We will keep you posted. In the meantime, March 24 marks the two year anniversary of the enactment of PPACA. Although Republican members of Congress continue to seek to repeal parts of the law, parts of the law have begun to take effect and the Obama Administration continues to push forward in drafting regulations to implement the remaining provisions of the law. Read more.
ASH Submits Comments on Proposed National Priorities for Patient Outcomes Research
The health-care overhaul legislation passed two years ago included the creation of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent organization focused on comparative effectiveness research. The goal of PCORI is to commission research that is guided by patients, caregivers and the broader health-care community and will produce high integrity, evidence-based information. ASH submitted comments on PCORI's proposed National Priorities for Research and its initial research agenda. ASH's comments supported the five proposed priority areas which include 1) Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options, 2) Improving Healthcare Systems 3) Communication and Dissemination Research, 4) Addressing Disparities, and 5) Accelerating Patient Centered Outcomes Research and Methodological Research. ASH's comments offered considerations for how to include research on hematologic diseases and conditions.
News from CMS
April 2012 ASP and NOC Pricing Files Now Available
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted the April 2012 Average Sales Price (ASP) and Not Otherwise Classified (NOC) pricing files and crosswalks. All are available for download on the CMS website.
News from ASH
Register for ASH's March Webinar on Thrombosis and Cancer
Registration is open for the ASH Webinar on Thrombosis and Cancer, scheduled for March 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET. This Webinar is designed to provide a practical approach to the issue of thrombosis and cancer confronted by the busy practitioner on a daily basis. Speakers will discuss risk assessment of VTE in cancer patients, review a practical approach to VTE treatment in cancer patients, and address the specific issues of antithrombotic management in cancer patients with centrally placed venous access. For more information about this and other ASH webinars, visit www.hematology.org/webinars.
Take Advantage of ASH's Consult a Colleague Service
Consult a Colleague is a service for ASH members that helps facilitate the exchange of information between hematologists and their peers. The full list of available categories is below:
- Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
- Lymphoproliferative Disorders
- Multiple Myeloma & Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia
- Myeloproliferative Disorders
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes
To learn more or to submit a request, visit www.hematology.org/consult. Assigned Colleagues will respond to inquiries within two business days either by email or phone.
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