PHARMACY

CMS Medicare analysis found mail order more expensive than community pharmacy across 21 plans

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Mail-order pharmacies frequently charge Medicare prescription drug plans more — as much as 83% — than community pharmacies do for filling prescriptions, a new analysis by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has concluded.

CMS examined claims from March 2012 and found 21 drug plans that routinely paid more for prescriptions filled through the mail compared to a community pharmacy.

“This analysis should be a wake-up call to any employer, government agency or other sponsor of a health care plan that blindly accepts the recommendations of PBMs when it comes to drug benefit design and incentivizing mail order utilization,” said Douglas Hoey, National Community Pharmacists Association CEO, in a release issued Tuesday. “Mail order is not for everyone and its appeal as a cost-saver is severely undermined by Medicare’s analysis. Instead, health plans should allow patients to choose the pharmacy that best meets their health needs and helps them get the most out of their prescription drug regimen.”

An independent analysis of 2010 Medicare prescription drug event records found that community pharmacies provide 90-day medication supplies at lower cost than mail order pharmacies and that local pharmacists substitute lower-cost generic drugs more often when compared to mail order pharmacies, NCPA added.

 

 

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Impax Labs to market generic or authorized generic version of OxyContin under deal with Purdue Pharma

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. — Impax Labs has settled a patent-infringement suit filed by Purdue Pharma concerning the opioid painkiller OxyContin, Impax said Tuesday.

The generic drug maker said that under the agreement, it will have the right to market a certain quantity of generic oxycodone extended-release tablets upon receiving Food and Drug Administration approval. If it does not receive FDA approval, it will be allowed to market an authorized generic version of the drug starting in January 2016. An authorized generic drug is a branded drug marketed at a discounted price under its generic name, usually under a contract between the branded drug’s manufacturer and a third-party company.

OxyContin is used for long-term treatment of moderate to severe pain over an extended period of time. The drug had sales of about $2.6 billion during the 12-month period that ended in September, according to IMS Health.

 

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Roxane Labs’ generic prostate drug gets tentative approval from FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic drug used to treat prostate disease, agency records showed.

The FDA granted tentative approval to Roxane Labs’ dutasteride capsules in the 0.5-mg strength. The drug is a generic version of GSK’s Avodart, used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Tentative approval means that a drug meets the agency’s conditions for approval, but can’t receive final approval until Avodart loses its patent protection, which will occur in 2015.

 

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