PHARMACY

Armada inks deal with Emdeon

BY Alaric DeArment

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Armada Health Care and Emdeon have entered an agreement to support prior authorization management through Armada’s ReachRx suite of services, Armada said.

Emdeon — which contracts with pharmacies and their service providers to simplify and improve end-to-end prescription processes — will use its network to support and enhance prior authorization management for Armada member pharmacies, automating data exchange in real-time, and aligning the solutions with standard pharmacy workflow. Armada said those services would enhance its ability to offer member pharmacies "a turnkey solution to managing time-consuming prior authorizations both quickly and effectively."

According to Armada, the inability of pharmacies to provide effective prior authorization services resulted in patient attrition and lost revenue, because they could not handle the submission of clinical documentation and extensive follow-up with prescribers, unless they had necessary staffing and resources.

Armada’s prior authorization services include automatic transfer of claims data to the Armada platform, status follow-up with prescriber and payer, co-pay assistance information, real-time status updates via the Armada Web portal and full HIPAA compliance.

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Watson’s nabumetone tablets get FDA OK

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for arthritis made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Watson said Friday.

The drug maker announced the approval of nabumetone tablets in the 500-mg and 750-mg strength. The drug is used to treat signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Nabumetone had sales of $58 million during the 12-month period ended in April, according to IMS Health.

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FDA updates ongoing safety review of Actos

BY Allison Cerra

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday informed the public that continued use of a Type 2 diabetes treatment made by Takeda Pharmaceuticals for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

As part of its ongoing safety review of Actos (pioglitazone), the FDA said that information about this risk will be added to the "warnings and precautions" section of the label for the drug and other pioglitazone-containing medicines. In response, Takeda said that it "is working with [the] FDA to make appropriate updates to the prescribing information."

The drug maker also confirmed that it is supporting a 10-year epidemiological study that investigates the questions raised about the association of Actos and bladder cancer. The study, which commenced in 2002, is being conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and Kaiser Permanente Diabetes Registry of Northern California. Takeda noted it will support the study through its conclusion at the end of 2012 and will report on the study results upon completion.

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