Thursday Miscellany

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

In FEHB News

  • OPM is finalizing without change its proposed rule to remedy some federal employee benefit problems that cropped up during the last, particularly lengthy government shutdown.
  • CVS Health announced yesterday that

CVS Caremark, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) of CVS Health, is continuing its long-standing agreement to serve the Government-wide Service Benefit Plan.  Since 1993, CVS Caremark has provided high-quality pharmacy care to the Service Benefit Plan to help federal employees, retirees and their families achieve prescription drug savings and better health outcomes, while being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.

The expanded contract will go into effect January 1, 2022 and now includes specialty pharmacy in addition to existing retail, mail and clinical pharmacy services in the current contract.

From the COVID-19 front

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that

The FDA late Wednesday gave the green light to three tests that are meant to be used frequently or multiple times over a few days—called serial tests. Consumers will be able to buy two of them over the counter without a prescription; the other, for use in such places as schools and doctors’ offices, requires a prescription. The FDA had previously authorized them for use among people with symptoms. * * *

Wednesday’s authorizations, awarded to companies [Quidel Corp., Abbott Laboratories and Becton, Dickinson & Co.] with bulk manufacturing power, add to the tests that can be purchased over the counter among people without symptoms if they are used repeatedly, potentially enabling rapid, at-home testing to become more widely accessible and affordable.

  • Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced two revisions regarding the number of doses per vial available for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. The first revision clarifies the number of doses per vial for the vials that are currently available, in that the maximum number of extractable doses is 11, with a range of 10-11 doses. The second revision authorizes the availability of an additional multi-dose vial in which each vial contains a maximum of 15 doses, with a range of 13-15 doses that can potentially be extracted. Both of these revisions positively impact the supply of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, which will help provide more vaccine doses to communities and allow shots to get into arms more quickly. Ultimately, more vaccines getting to the public in a timely manner should help bring an end to the pandemic more rapidly,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.”