PHARMACY

CMS holding pilot PHR test in S.C.

BY Drew Buono

ATLANTA The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced a new pilot project to expand the use of personal health records to Medicare beneficiaries.

This pilot test will take place in South Carolina, where beneficiaries will be given an opportunity to use a PHR populated by their own Medicare claims data. Key information from hospital and provider medical claims will be automatically entered into the PHR once the individual registers and requests the data. Prescription drug information, even for individuals who participate with a Part D Drug Plan, will not be automatically entered into the PHR, but the individual may choose to enter his or her own prescription drug and over-the-counter medications into the PHR.

“By using a PHR, patients with the pilot will have easy access to personalized medical information that will enable them to be more involved with their health care services,” said CMS acting administrator Kerry Weems. ”Furthermore, the steps we are taking today will help CMS understand how to best educate beneficiaries on the use of a PHR so that we can encourage use of these tools in the future.”

One feature of this PHR allows individuals to look up information specific to their own personal health status and health conditions. The PHR tool used in this pilot also provides convenient links to carefully selected Web sites with educational material on health topics. This makes it easier for the beneficiary or other authorized users to do research that will help them understand their health issues and better manage their own care.

The South Carolina PHR pilot follows another initiative launched in June of 2007, where CMS is collaborating with seven health plans to test the use of PHRs for beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Part D Prescription Drug Plan. 

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PHARMACY

Mylan, Teva to begin shipping generic Requip

BY Drew Buono

PITTSBURGH Mylan Pharmaceuticals has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its application for Ropinirole hydrochloride tablets and has announced it will begin shipping the drug immediately. Teva also announced the availability of its version of the tablets.

The drug is the generic form of GlaxoSmithKline’s Requip, which is used to treat moderate-to-severe primary restless leg syndrome. The generic will be available in 0.35 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg and 5 mg strengths.

According to IMS Health, the drug had sales of about $518 million in 2007.

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Teva’s Q1 results show more than 25 percent sales increase

BY Drew Buono

JERUSALEM Teva has released the results of its first quarter 2008, according to published reports.

Profits for the company fell by 57 percent to $147 million, but that was in large part to a $382 million acquisition charge the company suffered for buying the biotech company CoGenesys.

Teva did have a net income of $529 million, which beat the analysts’ forecast. Sales in North America increased by 27.3 percent for the quarter to $1.4 billion.

“The year is off to a strong start for Teva across all of our major businesses. It was a particularly outstanding quarter for Copaxone, which crossed the $500 million mark in in-market quarterly sales and became, for the first time, the number one global multiple sclerosis therapy,” said Shlomo Yanai, Teva’s chief executive officer.

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