NATIONAL PHARMACY AND THERAPEUTICS COMMITTEE
The following description of the purpose and makeup of a federal P&T committee, as envisioned in Sen. Pryor's legislation, is excerpted by "The Pink Sheet" from a summary of the bill. FUNCTIONS: The National Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee shall review and evaluate, on an ongoing basis, up-to-date scientific and medical information pertaining to the safety and efficacy of covered outpatient drugs approved for U.S. marketing. Based upon the results of its review and evaluation, the Committee shall: (A) Group all covered outpatient drugs into therapeutic classes, based upon their medically accepted indications, using a nationally recognized therapeutic classification system; In fulfilling this function, the Committee may either make its own determinations, or select an authoritative published compendium as a current source of such information, provided such compendium is developed by the group of health professionals fulfilling the description in subsection (b), and is updated (with respect to new scientific and medical data on specific outpatient prescription drugs) no less frequently than monthly; (B) Identify indications for which two or more covered outpatient drugs are equally safe and effective therapeutic alternatives, and list these drugs in groups of equally safe and effective therapeutic alternatives within each therapeutic class. (C) Report to the Secretary its initial determinations pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B), no later than 24 months after enactment of this legislation, and report all changes and updates at monthly intervals thereafter. (D) The Committee shall not engage in drug price negotiations, nor define acceptable costs for any product(s). COMPOSITION: The National P&T Committee shall be comprised of medical and scientific professionals, who have been nominated and elected by members of the medical and scientific community for their knowledge of (A) appropriate utilization of prescription drug therapies, and (B) the relative safety and efficacy of different covered outpatient drug products. The members of the Committee shall represent at least the following types of health care professionals: (A) physicians; (B) clinical pharmacologists; (C) pharmacoepidemiologists; (D) pharmacists; (E) nurses; (F) individuals with special knowledge or expertise in geriatric, pediatric and obstetric problems associated with drug therapies.
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