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Wednesday, 17 August 2016 15:09

VAWD Accreditation Required by OptumRX

In a letter to pharmacy providers, dated August 11, 2016, Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) OptumRx announced that effective October 1, 2016, they will only accept billed claims for products purchased from a Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD). This is the first PBM that we are aware of that is requiring this accreditation; however, other PBMs may follow suit.

PCCA has been VAWD-accredited since February 2008, and is one of the few compounding wholesale distributors that holds such accreditation.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) VAWD program is an accreditation for pharmaceutical wholesale distribution facilities which ensures compliance with state and federal laws and NABP's VAWD criteria.

VAWD accreditation plays a pivotal role in preventing counterfeit drugs from entering the United States drug supply – it helps protect the public from drugs that have been contaminated, diverted, or counterfeited. The U.S. supply of prescription drugs is produced and delivered to patients via a complex distribution path, and VAWD accreditation helps ensure that the wholesale distribution facility operates legitimately, is licensed and in good standing, and is employing security and best practices for safely distributing prescription drugs from manufacturers to pharmacies and other institutions.

Wholesale distributors that display the VAWD seal as part of their accreditation have undergone a criteria compliance review, including a rigorous review of their operating policies and procedures, licensure verification, survey of facility and operations, background checks, and screening through the NABP Clearinghouse. Accredited facilities are reviewed annually and undergo a site survey every three years.

Compounding wholesale distributors, such as PCCA, are required to be VAWD-accredited in order to be licensed and to be able to ship into certain states. Currently, 24 states recognize VAWD accreditation, and of these, three states (Indiana, North Dakota and Wyoming) require VAWD accreditation as a component of licensure.

“It’s extremely important to PCCA that we maintain the highest possible compliance measures with VAWD and continue our promise of delivering quality without compromise, so we can ensure PCCA member and patient needs are being met throughout all of the U.S.,” says PCCA COO Fabian Zaccardo. “And now that PBMs such as OptumRX are requiring VAWD-accreditation, it stresses the importance of our diligence to adhering to these standards.”