PHARMACY

APhA applauds BPC report

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON A report by the Bipartisan Policy Leaders’ Project containing recommendations regarding chronic diseases has attracted praise from an organization representing the country’s pharmacists.

The American Pharmacists Association applauded the Bipartisan Policy Center’s report “Crossing Our Lines: Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System,” which gave several healthcare reform policy recommendations, organizing them around four “pillars” that emphasized quality, availability of insurance, personal health choices and healthcare financing. Former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker, R-Tenn., Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Bob Dole, R-Kan., founded the BPC in 2007.

“A large and growing proportion of our health spending is currently going toward chronic diseases, and the frequent occurrence of preventable and costly complications of these diseases creates an imperative to take major steps toward both clinical and population-based prevention,” a report citation under the third pillar read.

“We are pleased the Leaders’ Report acknowledges that chronic diseases are not optimally treated,” APhA EVP and CEO-designate Thomas Menighan said. “By working collaboratively with physicians and other healthcare providers, pharmacists can help patients better understand their medications and how to get the full benefit of their medication therapy.”

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association also praised the report, due to its endorsement of a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars.

“This endorsement from three top former Senate leaders with extensive health policy experience sends an important message to Congress that the time has come to pass legislation that brings safe and affordable, lifesaving biogenerics to patients sooner rather than later,” GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger stated.

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PHARMACY

Covidien enters a license, development collaboration with Nuvo Research

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS A healthcare products company hopes to expand its entry into the branded painkiller market through a new deal with a Canadian drug development company.

Covidien announced that it had entered a license and development collaboration with Mississauga, Ontario-based Nuvo Research, which develops transdermal and topical drugs. The collaboration includes a topical painkiller that combines the nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac sodium with the transdermal carrier dimethyl sulfoxide.

Covidien said that Nuvo would receive an upfront payment – which Covidien would expense in its fiscal third quarter – development and sales milestone payments and royalties.

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APhA ‘stands ready’ for reformed healthcare system

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON An organization representing the country’s pharmacists heralded comments by President Barack Obama before the American Medical Association Monday that mentioned members of the profession as playing a role in healthcare reform.

Pharmacists “stand ready” to be part of a reformed healthcare system, the American Pharmacists Association said in response.

The APhA said that evidence increasingly indicates pharmacists help keep healthcare costs in check through such services as medication therapy management, which includes educating patients on how to take prescription drugs properly and safely, and health screenings and immunizations.

“We need to build on the examples of outstanding medicine at places like the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where the quality of care for cystic fibrosis patients shot up after the hospital began incorporating suggestions from parents,” Obama said in his remarks before the AMA’s annual conference in Chicago. “And places like Tallahassee Memorial Health Care, where deaths were dramatically reduced with rapid response teams that monitored patients’ conditions and ‘multidisciplinary rounds’ with everyone from physicians to pharmacists.”

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