PHARMACY

Aurobindo earns FDA approval for multiple sclerosis generic

BY Brian Berk

EAST WINDSOR, N.J. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Aurobindo Pharma’s Dalfampridine Extended-Release tablets, 10 mg, intended for treatment of multiple sclerosis.

The FDA’s Division of Bioequivalence determined the Aurobindo drug to be bioequivalent, and therefore therapeutically equivalent to the referenced listed drug, Amprya from Acorda Therapeutics.

According to QuintilesIMS, the Aurobindo product has an estimated market size of $347 million for the 12 months ended November 2016.

Aurobindo’s portfolio of generic pharmaceuticals includes 256 final FDA approvals, including 39 tentative approvals, and 16 approved products from Aurolife. There are 97 additional product on file with the FDA.

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McKesson augments pharmacy offering with CoverMyMeds acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO  — McKesson on Tuesday entered into an agreement to acquire CoverMyMeds for approximately $1.1 billion, the wholesaler announced Wednesday during its third-quarter conference call.

"CoverMyMeds mission is to help patients get access to the appropriate drugs for their care," John Hammergren, chairman and CEO McKesson, told investors Wednesday morning. "Their service automates and accelerates the prescription approval process known as electronic prior authorization, which is otherwise manual and time consuming," he said. "CoverMyMeds takes administrative cost out of the system which supports patients through drug adherence, manufacturers by reducing prescription abandonment and providers and payers through automation and appropriate patient access to medications."

CoverMyMeds products streamlines a prior authorization process for 47,000 pharmacies and 700,000 prescribers, Hammergren added, and the Company has partnered with McKesson’s RelayHealth Pharmacy business since 2010 to expand its reach and offer its capabilities to a broad customer base. "Together, CoverMyMeds and RelayHealth Pharmacy can develop even more innovative tools for manufacturers, pharmacies, patients, payers and prescribers and continue to take administrative costs and inefficiency out of the healthcare system."

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including approval and is expected to close in the first half of fiscal 2018, McKesson stated. The wholesaler expects the transaction will be funded by a mix of cash and debt.

McKesson reported revenues of $50.1 billion, up 5%, for the third quarter ended Dec. 31. On the basis of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, third-quarter earnings per diluted share from continuing operations was $2.86, compared to $2.71 a year ago. North America pharmaceutical distribution and services revenues of $41.7 billion for the quarter were up 5% both on a reported and constant currency basis, primarily reflecting market growth and acquisitions, partially offset by branded to generic conversions.

 

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Astronaut Kelly named IPC keynote speaker

BY Brian Berk

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — The IPC Independent Pharmacy Conference selected astronaut Captain Mark Kelly as its keynote speaker during its April 6-8 conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The retired U.S. Naval officer, Kelly will discuss how to better manage teams, deal with changing circumstances and use detailed plans to accomplish remarkable things in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

“We selected Captain Kelly because of his record of achievements, his hard work and his determination,” said Independent Pharmacy Cooperative CEO Don Anderson. “He is representative of the type of creative problem- solving needed to be a successful community pharmacist in our challenging business environment. We are fortunate and proud to have him join our program.”

Kelly and his brother Capt. Scott Kelly are the only known siblings to have both been in space.

The Independent Pharmacy Cooperative is the nation's largest group purchasing organization owned by independent pharmacy, representing more than 5,000 members.

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