CVS, NCA helping seniors manage healthcare expenses
WOONSOCKET, R.I. In an effort to help seniors find the right Medicare savings plan for them, CVS Caremark and the National Council on Aging are educating seniors on their options and providing resources like an online Medicare Part D calculator.
“This year, seniors can expect to see changes in most Medicare Part D plans affecting monthly premiums, co-payments and even which drugs are covered,” said Dave Purdy, vice president of pharmacy operations for CVS/pharmacy.
“The good news is that those eligible for Medicare Part D can see significant savings and receive better coverage if they take the time to review their plans, and change their plan if appropriate. The CVS/pharmacy Medicare Part D calculator is extremely useful in helping seniors navigate the maze of monthly premiums, deductibles, prescription co-payments and covered drugs in order to find the right plan for them.”
The six-week Medicare Part D enrollment period lasts from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31. When evaluating plans, CVS and the NCOA are recommending that patients consider three factors:
• Cost: What is the plan deductible, monthly premium and prescription co-pay for the prescriptions they regularly take?
• Coverage: Are the prescription medications regularly taken covered in the plan? Are there restrictions such as prior authorization?
• Convenience: Can they fill the prescription at the pharmacy of their choice?
In addition to providing online resources to help them wade through the options, CVS has been educating seniors on the importance of reviewing plans through outreach efforts with NCOA, including senior center visits, direct mail and in-store communications. CVS pharmacists have been trained on the Medicare Part D plan changes and are available to advise seniors based on their unique prescription history and predicted changes for 2009.
According to data from CVS, 50 percent of a sample of 2008 Medicare Part D beneficiaries would have saved more than $250 a year on total drug costs if they had selected a plan that better fit their situation.
“We urge people who qualify for the prescription drug benefit to consider their options and realize the potential to save,” said Stuart Spector, senior vice president of NCOA. “Prescription drug coverage can make a significant difference in the health and lives of people with Medicare, especially those with limited income and resources who may qualify for the extra help.”
FDA raises questions about efficacy of pain medication tamper-proofing
NEW YORK Questions have arisen as to whether a pill by Pain Therapeutics and King Pharmaceuticals is resistant to tampering.
A memo by the Food and Drug Administration Monday concerns the drug Remoxy, a formulation of oxycodone that uses liquid capsule drug-delivery technology designed to prevent misuse of the drug. Some people have abused oxycodone tablets by crushing them, dissolving it in water and then injecting it for its opiate-like effects.
The FDA’s memo said that Pain Therapeutics did not sufficiently conduct long-term tests of Remoxy to determine whether the oxycodone could be extracted and diverted, though Pain Therapeutics disputes that claim.
Titan releases earnings report for Q3 2008
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Titan Pharmaceuticals has released financial results for third quarter 2008.
Total operating costs for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, were $6 million, compared with $4.6 million for third quarter 2007, the company said. Net loss for the quarter was $5.9 million, compared to $4.3 million last year; losses in both cases totaled 10 cents a share. The increase in operating costs resulted mostly from an increase in research and development funding related to development of the opiate addiction treatment Probuphine (buprenorphine) and a slight increase in general and administrative costs.
“We have continued to streamline our expenses and focus our resources on the phase 3 clinical development of Probuphine,” Titan president and chief executive Marc Rubin said. “During the third quarter, we have engaged in discussions with several potential partners both in the U.S. and Europe, and we are continuing these efforts as we evaluate strategic alternatives for the company.”