Experts to plan for short-cycle drug dispensing in long-term care

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 Leading pharmacy professionals will meet next Thursday and Friday in Dallas to discuss short-cycle dispensing and its potential impact on long-term care. Federal officials must create regulations for shorter dispensing cycles under the major healthcare reform bill signed into law earlier this year.

The goal of the short-cycle mandate is to cut the volume of waste created when a resident does not finish all of a prescribed medication. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has estimated that the Medicare Part D program could save a lot of money if prescriptions were supplied in cycles of seven or fewer days. There also would be environmental benefits, advocates say.

Experts will discuss financial, regulatory, legal and operational impact points at the conference. A variety of types of technology and packaging also will be on display. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Congress requires CMS to determine regulations for shorter cycles for prescription drugs used by Part D beneficiaries who are residents of long-term care facilities.

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) and the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) are collaborating to present the conference, which will be held at the Fairmont Hotel. More information can be found at the conference website.

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