PHARMACY

Allscripts’, Misys’ boards agree to merger

BY Drew Buono

LONDON & CHICAGO Clinical software providers Allscripts and Misys Healthcare, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Misys Plc have signed a merger agreement. The new combined company will have a client base of about 150,000 physicians.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the board of directors of both companies, Misys Healthcare will be merged with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allscripts, and Misys Plc will contribute $330 million in cash to Allscripts, for which it will receive shares representing a 54.5 percent ownership position in the combined company.

“This agreement changes the landscape in healthcare information technology by creating a single company that will serve roughly 150,000 physicians with our portfolio of electronic health records, practice management and other software solutions,” stated Glen Tullman, chief executive officer of Allscripts and the new combined company. “Improving U.S. healthcare requires the ability to connect all stakeholders through the continuum of care, and today we have taken a major step towards doing that, with nearly one out of three physicians in America as customers of the combined company.”

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Study of Copaxone reveals that drug is not effective for patients in treatment of ASL

BY Diana Alickaj

WASHINGTON Copaxone, a blockbuster drug manufactured by Israel’s Teva Industries, has proven to be ineffective for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to the company.

Copaxone, which earned Teva $436 million in revenue, was subjected to a 366-patient Phase II trial to investigate if it was able to reduce deterioration in patients with ALS. According to published reports, the study showed that the drug, although safe, did not increase rate of survival among patients battling the disease.

ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, plagues about 10,000 people in the U.S. and Europe. ASL leads to paralysis, and those who are diagnosed are expected to live within 3-5 years experiencing weakness in limbs, twitching and respiratory impairment, as well as other painful symptoms. Copaxone was the leading therapy for multiple sclerosis in the U.S., but based on the new findings, Teva will continue to search for other options in treating the disease.

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Manitoba pharmaceutical regulator tries to end online pharmacies

BY Drew Buono

MANITOBA, Canada The Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association is attempting to put a stranglehold on the province’s Internet pharmacy business, according to CBC news. Manitoba conducts a good deal of online pharmacy business.

The association has approved a new rule that would prevent pharmacies from filling out-of-province prescriptions starting June 30. If pharmacies don’t comply with this new rule, they can have their licenses revoked.

Troy Harwood-Jones, of the Manitoba International Pharmacy Association, said that kind of rule is unheard of in other provinces, and in a recent vote, more than 70 percent of pharmacists voted against it.

In response, the province has assigned a mediator to try to work something out between the Internet pharmacies and the association. Although, Harwood-Jones said that if a deal wasn’t reached, he thought many of the 20 Internet pharmacies in the province would leave.

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