Top pharmacy news stories of the week
Walmart cuts pharmacist pay and hours
In a plan to reduce costs, Reuters is reporting that Walmart is asking some of its 16,000 pharmacists across the country to voluntarily take pay cuts and reduce their work hours. The cuts, which are aimed at pharmacists in higher wage brackets, show how current demand for expensive weight loss GLP-1 medications, coupled with Walmart’s $3.1 billion opioid settlement, are adding to the company’s financial woes.
Walmart states that it was reducing the number of hours it was offering some pharmacists, claiming a drop-off in demand for medications during the summer and requests from pharmacists for a less demanding job. Read more.
CMS selects first drugs for Medicare price negotiation
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released the first ten drugs that will be available for price negotiation under Medicare Part D. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare will be able to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs with participating drug companies beginning this year and in 2024, which will become effective in 2026.
The drugs are:
- Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill
HHS officials call for reclassification of marijuana to Schedule III drug
Bloomberg is reporting that officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are recommending easing restrictions on marijuana and reclassifying it under the Controlled Substances Act. A top official with the department wrote a letter to a Drug Enforcement Agency administrator saying that marijuana should be classified as a Schedule III drug, which means it has a low potential for abuse. Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medically accepted use and a high potential for abuse. The decision to reclassify marijuana resides with the DEA, which could take months to complete its evaluation.