PHARMACY

CVS Caremark discusses role of health IT to optimize pharmacy health care

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark highlighted its Proactive Pharmacy Care approach during a discussion on health IT at the HIMSS09 Annual Conference & Exhibition this weekend in Chicago.

At the conference, Helena Foulkes, EVP at CVS Caremark, outlined how the company is evaluating and leveraging a variety of technologies to engage consumers and positively impact health outcomes and lower costs.

Her presentation, titled “Proactive Pharmacy Care: Leveraging Technology for Improved Outcomes,” took place on April 5 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

“In today’s wired world, consumers are exposed to a lot of information about their healthcare options from a variety of sources and in a number of different formats,” Foulkes stated. “Given the complexities of the healthcare system in general, this fragmented approach can leave consumers confused and unsure about what they need to do to stay healthy. CVS Caremark’s Proactive Pharmacy Care approach leverages a number of different technology tools to engage and educate our patients and their healthcare providers about their pharmacy health care needs earlier in the process.”

Foulkes discussed how CVS Caremark implements technology to enhance health care outcomes and how the combination of health technology and customized face-to-face interaction can positively impact medication compliance and engage consumers in their own health care. The technologies Foulkes reviewed in her presentation include tools to help improve medication compliance, e-prescribing, electronic health records, and a proprietary tool to help CVS Caremark prioritize interventions and allow for timely, coordinated patient-specific health improvement and cost-savings opportunities.

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PHARMACY

Sun Pharmaceutical subsidiary extends tender offer to Taro

BY Allison Cerra

MUMBAI, India Sun Pharmaceutical announced Friday its subsidiary, Alkaloida, has extended the expiration date of the tender offer for the purchase of all outstanding shares of Taro.

The offer will now expire at on Friday, April 17, unless further extended or earlier terminated.

The tender offer was extended to comply with a continuing order issued by the Supreme Court of Israel, temporarily prohibiting the closing of the offer until the Supreme Court issues a decision on the appeal of the litigation commenced against Alkaloida and its affiliates by Taro and certain of its directors, regarding the applicability of the special tender offer rules under the Israeli Companies Law to the offer.

The Tel-Aviv District Court had previously ruled in favor of Sun that a special tender offer was not required. If the temporary order remains in effect on April 17, 2009, Sun expects to extend the Offer while the temporary order remains outstanding.

The offer was commenced on June 30, 2008 in order to comply with the terms of the Option Agreement between Alkaloida and the controlling shareholders of Taro. Alkaloida exercised its options to acquire shares of Taro from the controlling shareholders on June 25, 2008. The Option Agreement required Alkaloida, promptly after exercising the options, to commence a tender offer at $7.75 per share of Taro held by other shareholders.

The offer had previously been scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m. EST, Friday, April 3. As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on April 2, 2009, 25,617 shares had been tendered and not withdrawn from the offer.

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FDA reviews heart risks of depressive disorder medication

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Federal health officials said a schizophrenia drug from AstraZeneca also works against depression, though it carries risks of sudden heart death, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Seroquel XR is used by millions of patients to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Now London-based AstraZeneca wants the Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug for depression and anxiety.

Seroquel has severe side effects, including sudden death.

The company launched two new strengths of Seroquel XR (quetiapine fumarate) extended-release tablets last month. The new strengths, 50-mg and 150-mg, are in addition to the existing 200-mg, 300-mg and 400-mg strengths.

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