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Monday, June 25, 2012

Press Release: New Controlled Substance Prescription Process Helps Keep Hospices Compliant

PHILADELPHIA, June 25, 2012 - Hospice Pharmacia, a service of excelleRx Inc., an Omnicare Specialty Care Group company, updated its process for managing controlled substance prescriptions for its hospice client base. This responds to recent Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) guidance that specifically states that a pharmacy may not pre-populate any element of a controlled substance prescription, including commonly used "reminder letters."

The DEA recently advised that a pharmacy may not initiate a reminder letter to a prescribing practitioner that provides a partially or fully pre-populated prescription form for the prescribing practitioner. While the DEA approved the use of a reminder letter format containing a blank prescription template for expiring orders and emergency Schedule II orders, the DEA expressly rejected a pharmacy pre-populating any portion of a controlled substance prescription, including patient name or address.

"One of the main tenets of Hospice Pharmacia is and always will be an unwavering commitment to compliance," said Tom Stieritz, SVP and GM of excelleRx, Inc.

To help hospice partners comply with this DEA interpretation of its regulations, Hospice Pharmacia is mobilizing internal support staff to proactively engage hospices and prescribers to ensure accurate medication information is being transmitted properly, quickly and comprehensively. Hospice Pharmacia also has created a series of DEA compliant reminder letters to provide its partners and physicians with the most accessible and compliant format allowed by DEA interpretation.

"The DEA explicitly outlined what is required from both the prescriber and pharmacy provider, and any pharmacy provider that deviates from this regulation may present a compliance risk for all associated parties. Hospice Pharmacia's clients can rest assured knowing that they are receiving state-of-the-art compliance support for today's market needs," concluded Stieritz.

About Hospice Pharmacia and excelleRx®

excelleRx, a division of Omnicare's Specialty Care Group, exists on the belief that all people, especially those dealing with end-of-life symptoms, have the right to appropriate medication. Originally founded as Hospice Pharmacia, excelleRx was the first pharmacy to focus on expert management of medication for end-of-life patients. Today, the company remains committed to palliative care pharmacy services for patients enrolled in hospice programs. As the industry-leading national hospice pharmacy accredited by the Joint Commission (TJC), excelleRx continues to set the standard for hospice and palliative care medication management and pharmacy distribution services.

About Omnicare

Omnicare, Inc., a Fortune 400 company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, provides comprehensive pharmaceutical services to patients and providers across North America. As the market-leader in professional pharmacy, related consulting and data management services for skilled nursing, assisted living and other chronic care institutions, Omnicare leverages its unparalleled clinical insight into the geriatric market along with some of the industry's most innovative technological capabilities to the benefit of its long-term care customers. Omnicare also provides key commercialization services for the bio-pharmaceutical industry and end-of-life disease management through its Specialty Care Group.  For more information, visit www.omnicare.com .

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