Aetna, Costco partner to offer co-branded Medicare Rx program
HARTFORD, Conn. Aetna and Costco today announced a partnership to provide Medicare customers with affordable prescription drugs. Medicare customers now may purchase the Aetna Medicare Rx/Costco Plus Plan in 17 states and have selected generic prescription drug scripts filled for a $5 co-pay.
Costs for Aetna Medicare Rx/Costco Plus Plan premiums range from $50 to $70 per month with no deductible. Those who enroll in the plan and have their scripts filled at Costco will be charged a maximum $5 co-pay for generic prescription drugs, or $10 to fill the script at another network pharmacy. Some generic medications will be filled with no co-pay charge.
“Aetna is committed to finding cost-effective solutions through all of our Medicare plans,” Frank McCauley, head of Aetna’s Consumer Business Segment said. “Teaming up with Costco, which is known for providing great value to its customers, gives us a great opportunity to reach a significant number of Medicare beneficiaries with an innovative prescription drug plan.”
Medicare customers can enroll on the Costco Web site, www.costco.com , or by phone with Aetna and Costco sales representatives. The plan is available in including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
FDA approves Treanda for treatment of Hodgkin’s disease
FRAZER, Pa. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the drug’s manufacturer announced Monday.
Cephalon announced the agency’s approval of its drug Treanda (bendamustine hydrochloride), an injection for treating indolent B-cell NHL that has progressed up to six months following treatment with Rituxan (rituximab), made by Genentech and Biogen Idec, or a drug regimen that includes Rituxan.
Indolent NHL is a cancer of the lymphatic system that is not curable and often relapses after initial therapy. It affects about 30,000 people in the United States each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“Because most patients with indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma eventually become resistant to existing treatments, new treatment options like Treanda are needed to improve patient outcome,” Georgetown University medicine professor and Treanda clinical investigator Bruce Cheson said in a statement.
PharmaSmart to grow its blood pressure management systems in U.S. market
ROCHESTER, N.Y. PharmaSmart International announced last week its intent to penetrate the U.S. market with its blood-pressure management program that has already enjoyed acceptance in the Canadian marketplace, boasting 75 percent penetration.
“Our goal as a company is to change the paradigm in community blood pressure screening,” stated Ashton Maaraba, PharmaSmart’s global vice president of sales and marketing. “We have committed significant resources to ensuring our clients execute at every level, delivering a turnkey program that delivers on the massive blood pressure management opportunity.”
Unlike existing blood pressure programs, which may primarily act as vehicles for third party advertising, PharmaSmart proposes to convert the hypertensive patient into a revenue-generating opportunity, and retain that consumer with an exclusive, pharmacy-branded BP management program, the company stated.
PharmaSmart’s blood pressure management tools and programs allow pharmacies to capitalize on the hypertension opportunity. PharmaSmart’s branded Smart Card offers pharmacists a long-term management tool for their patients that has been found to improve hypertension discovery, consultation, and prescription compliance, all significant challenges in the fight against hypertension, Maaraba noted.
PharmaSmart’s “pharmacy first/patient first” platform seeks to augment the patient-pharmacist relationship through an education program—both point-of-sale training and continuing education—for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians around hypertension. The program includes PharmaSmart’s patented blood-pressure cuff, patient Smart Card management tool, and a patient web portal.
In Canada, PharmaSmart is present in Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart Canada, Loblaws, Le Group Jean Coutu, Safeway Canada and Calgary Coop, among other pharmacies.