US Pharm. 2007;32(7):6.

New Jersey Bill Requires Pharmacists to Fill Rxs
Trenton, NJ -- A bill that amends the New Jersey Pharmacy Practice Act prohibits pharmacists in the state from refusing to dispense or refill "a prescription or medication order solely on the grounds that the dispensing or refill of the prescription or medication order would contravene the pharmacist's philosophical, moral or religious beliefs." If a pharmacy does not have a prescription in stock, it would have to either obtain it under expedited ordering or find a nearby pharmacy to fill the prescription. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to N.J. Governor Jon S. Corzine for his signature.

Medicare Part D Hurts Independent Pharmacists
Alexandria, Va. -- Preliminary results from the 2007 NCPA-Pfizer Digest, a comprehensive financial and demographic survey of the nation's independent community pharmacies, suggest that many independent pharmacists are getting hurt financially from the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan as a result of low and slow reimbursements. According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, cosponsor of the survey, the most troubling aspects of the Digest results include a multitude of store closings in 2006, stagnation in the average total prescription sales, and plummeting net operating income.

NACDS Says Medicaid Rx Reimbursements Need Improvement
Alexandria, Va. -- The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is putting pressure on Congress to act promptly and decisively on a recent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report that showed proposed payment rules would result in significant underpayments to community pharmacies that participate in the Medicaid program. The OIG analysis found that acquisition costs for 19 of the 25 selected high-expenditure drugs "would have been higher" than what the federal program would have reimbursed pharmacists under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Rather than reflecting actual pharmacy drug costs, the reimbursement limits currently proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services would dramatically limit the availability of community pharmacy services to millions of Medicaid beneficiaries.

National Agreement on Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Boca Raton, Fla. -- The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition joined forces with the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and other national organizations in announcing the first national agreement on ovarian cancer symptoms. According to extensive research, symptoms such as bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency) are more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population. The researchers recommended that women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks see their gynecologist.

SIDS Recurrence May Be Overestimated
Danby Wiske, England -- A literature review of eight published studies has uncovered that the recurrence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) within families may be less common than previously reported. According to an online report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood,the risk that parents who have lost one child to SIDS will lose another is likely less than one in 500. "Families whose initial death was fully investigated and who have no major risk factors can be advised that, although the risk of a second death may be slightly increased, it remains very small," the researchers reported.

To comment on this article, contact