PHARMACY

Aurora Pharmacy offering generic-drug prescription discount program

BY Alaric DeArment

MILWAUKEE The pharmacy division of a nonprofit healthcare system has become the latest to follow the growing trend of generic-drug prescription discount programs.

Aurora Pharmacy, part of Aurora Health Care, launched its Aurora Pharmacy Prescription Savings Club for uninsured and underinsured patients on Monday.

Patients pay an annual $11.95 fee that allows them to buy 30-day supplies of more than 300 generic drugs for $4.99 and 90-day supplies for $10.99, and also receive $12 in coupons for Aurora Pharmacy brand products when they enroll.

“In today’s economy, it’s important that we offer our patients additional ways to save,” Aurora Pharmacy director of operations John Gates said. “The prescription club can provide a great savings for people who do not have prescription drug coverage or insurance that does not cover all of their medication needs.”

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FTC clears J&J acquisition of Cougar Biotechnology

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. The Federal Trade Commission has given clearance to the acquisition of a biotechnology company by drug maker Johnson & Johnson.

J&J announced that the FTC had granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act with respect to J&J’s acquisition of Los Angeles-based Cougar Biotechnology.

J&J made a tender offer last month to acquire Cougar for $1 billion, or $43 per share, and Cougar’s board recommended that stockholders accept the offer. If J&J manages to acquire a majority of tendered shares, and fulfills other customary conditions, Cougar will become a subsidiary, working with J&J’s biotech division. The tender offer expires at midnight July 2.

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NCPA presents drug disposal advocacy to Congress

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. An organization representing the country’s independent pharmacies took its advocacy of drug disposal programs to Congress Thursday.

Speaking on behalf of the National Community Pharmacy Association, pharmacist Cheri Garvin testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security’s “Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal” hearing.

Garvin, CEO of Leesburg Pharmacy in Leesburg, Va., developed a drug disposal program for her pharmacy that the NCPA said serves as a business model that its 23,000 members can use. The organization said safe drug disposal helps prevent diversion and the contamination of drinking water that results from patients flushing unused medications down toilets.

“Patients need viable, convenient solutions when seeking to dispose of their unused medications,” Garvin said in her testimony. “Programs that allow for drop-off at multiple public locations, as well as programs that allow for patients to utilize prepaid mailers to dispose of medications, should be encouraged.”

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