PHARMACY

Cardinal Health renews distribution agreement with Prime Therapeutics

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Tuesday announced that it has renewed a three-year agreement with Prime Therapeutics to continue serving as the primary pharmaceutical supplier for Prime’s pharmacy home-delivery service, PrimeMail, and for Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy.

Prime is collectively owned by a number of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. The company manages more than $15 billion in prescription drug spend annually and serves nearly 23 million members. Its specialty pharmacy is designed to help improve the health of members living with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis, through personalized care management programs. 

Cardinal Health will also continue to offer Prime additional supply chain optimization services to help improve its operational efficiency.

 

 

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Pharmacy Quality Alliance appoints four new members to executive board

BY Alaric DeArment

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Executives from retail, manufacturing, regulation and others are among the four new appointees to the Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s board of directors for next year, the group said Monday.

The PQA said that effective Feb. 1, 2014, it would appoint to its board Health Mart Systems president Steve Courtman, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems senior director for health care quality David Domann, Millennium Pharmacy Systems SVP and chief compliance officer Jeffrey Newell and Food and Drug Administration director of professional affairs and stakeholder engagement John Whyte.

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with these four individuals who have a demonstrated commitment to PQA’s mission of developing meaningful measures of appropriate medication use and patient safety that can drive overall patient outcomes and enhance the patient experience," PQA executive director Laura Cranston said. "Their combined expertise and unique backgrounds will provide the leadership and engagement necessary to advance the appropriate uptake and implantation of medication therapy-based performance measures in new and evolving models of care."

 

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FDA to allow dispensing of GSK’s Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia in retail pharmacies again

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRINGS, Md. – Federal regulators are lifting some restrictions on a diabetes drug that were placed two years ago after studies linked the drug to increased cardiovascular risk.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it would require removal of some restrictions on GlaxoSmithKline’s Type 2 drug Avandia (rosiglitazone), which were placed following findings from a series of studies starting in 2007 of an increased risk in heart attacks in patients taking it. The agency’s decision was based on results of a clinical trial showing no elevated risk of heart attack or deaths in patients taking Avandia compared with those taking standard-of-care diabetes drugs.

"Our actions today reflect the most current scientific knowledge about the risks and benefits of this drug," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock said. "Given these new results, our level of concern is considerably reduced; thus, we are requiring the removal of certain prescribing restrictions."

In May 2011, the FDA announced that as of November of that year, Avandia would no longer be available in retail pharmacies and would only be available through mail order. Once the latest changes are finalized, the FDA said Monday, it will be available in retail pharmacies again.

 

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