CVS Caremark reopens application process for dispensing physicians

CVS Caremark, the nation’s second-largest Prescription Benefit Manager, had previously excluded dispensing physicians from applying to access its network. As a result of industry collaboration, co-led by UroGPO, it reopened the application process this past July.  Of the more than 20 members who have completed the process, we are still eagerly awaiting our first determination. CVS continues to ask applicants to be patient, as it may take months to process applications. UroGPO firmly believes that CVS Caremark will do the right thing for patients and allow qualified dispensing practices into its network.

Proposed cleanroom guidelines coming

Many practices demonstrated interest in establishing a cleanroom for the preparation of chemotherapy agents. New cleanrooms for chemotherapy should follow USP <797> and <800> standards to meet the proposed guidelines for handling of hazardous materials. Numerous vendors offer modular solutions that can be constructed at existing facilities.

SP <800> guidelines for handling of hazardous drugs

USP <800> is the latest chapter in the United States Pharmacopeia. The chapter deals with the handling of hazardous drugs from receipt, storage, preparation and administration, to disposal. The chapter was designed to protect health care workers in all practice settings from being exposed to health care risks. The guidelines were to become official on July 1, 2018, but implementation has been postponed until Dec. 1, 2019, to coincide with the next revision of USP <797>. The guidelines will be enforceable through the FDA, JCAHO and state boards of pharmacy. Hazardous drugs fall into three categories: antineoplastics, hazardous non-antineoplastics and drugs with reproductive effects. Practices should read the guidelines and assess their risk pertaining to handling these drugs. Visit http://www.usp.org/compounding/general-chapter-hazardous-drugs-handling-healthcare or https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2016-161/pdfs/2016-161.pdf.