CVS Health’s ScriptPath wins PBMI Excellence Award
The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute has awarded CVS Health its 2018 Excellence Award for its ScriptPath Prescription Schedule. Rolled out last fall, the prescription schedule is designed to offer patients a consolidated view of their current prescriptions that outlines when and how to take each prescribed medication.
“We are pleased to be recognized with this award for our industry-leading work to bring the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule to patients as we help them on their path to better health,” CVS Health chief medical officer Troyen Brennan said. “For CVS Health, this award validates our efforts to develop innovative programs that improve patient engagement and medication adherence, better manage chronic diseases like diabetes and help clients keep their health care costs down.”
CVS Health said that studies have found that patients see a decrease in adherence between 5.7% and 6.8% for each dose added to their medication regimen, and that hospital readmission rates increase by as much as 69% for patients who don’t adhere to their therapies — to the tune of $100 billion to $300 billion in healthcare costs. The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule was designed to use the proprietary Clinical Engine to review a patient’s medications, creating a schedule that divides the medications into as many as four dosing times per day.
The prescription schedule also marks the first in a series of ScriptPath efforts that CVS Pharmacy is undertaking. This spring, it is bringing patients the ScriptPath Prescription Label and Prescription Overview, the company said.
Hikma brings on former Teva generics leader as CEO
Generics maker Hikma Pharmaceuticals has brought on Sigurdur Olafsson as its CEO, effective immediately. Olafsson brings to the position more than 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, including his two years as president and CEO of global generic medicines at Teva from 2014 to 2016.
“We are delighted that Siggi is joining Hikma as our new CEO,” said Said Darwazah, who will transition to executive chairman from his current role as chairman and CEO. “He brings a wealth of pharmaceutical and leadership experience and we are confident that his deep sector knowledge, paired with his proven ability to drive growth, will help us achieve our ambitions for the business.”
In his role, Olafsson will oversee development and execution of Hikma’s corporate strategy with a focus on growth opportunities. In his new role, Darwazah will oversee and guide the CEO in exeuting his strategic vision for the company, as well as optimize the company’s long-term potential, Hikma said.
“I am looking forward to leading the Hikma team, building on the strong legacy the business has established, particularly in the U.S. and MENA,” Olafsson said.. “I share Said’s confidence in the future of this business, and believe that we have the potential to deliver substantial value to our customers, employees, investors and the wider community.”
Olafsson is set to join Hikma’s board of directors, subject to election at its next meeting in May 2018.
“I am very pleased that Siggi is joining Hikma,” Hikma senior independent non-executive Robert Pickering said. “This is a pivotal time for Hikma as we embark on our next chapter. The Board and I are confident that Siggi and Said, working together, will significantly enhance our ability to execute our strategy and deliver long-term sustainable growth.”
AAM white paper highlights generics savings, hurdles
A recent white paper from the Association for Accessible Medicines highlights the savings from generics and biosimilars — and highlights needed policy to keep the savings rolling. “Ensuring the Future of Accessible Medicines in the U.S.: Avoiding Shortages & Ensuring Competition for America’s Patients” notes that generics prices are headed downward faster than ever, with the prices they settle at also marking historic lows.
The paper also notes that continued savings are dependent on a lack of artificial barriers to entry coming from branded drug makers, as well as a regulatory environment that doesn’t make low-margin products unprofitable. Among the barriers that AAM identified were drug makers “gaming” Food and Drug Administration regulations to delay a generic from hitting the market, as well as using patents for existing drugs to delay entry and a lack of clarity from the FDA with regard to complex generics.
AAM also noted that there are real challenges to staying in the generics markets, with state regulations, Medicaid’s generics penalty, unincentivized generic use counting among the issues that generics makers face as price deflation continues.
As a result, the organization uses the paper to call for the enactment of legislation to stop regulatory gamesmanship, sustained regulatory focus on approving complex generics, modifying the Medicaid generic penalty and increased use of generics for Medicare patients with low incomes, among others.
“Patient health and well-being depend on the uninterrupted availability of lower-cost generic and biosimilar medicines,” the report says. “Moreover, as patients live longer the importance of a robust and sustainable generic and biosimilar medicines industry becomes only that much more important. Policymakers must act quickly to ensure continued saving and market-based competition, as well as prevent shortages, for future availability of affordable medicines.”