HEALTH

Endo boosts portfolio with Qualitest acquisition

BY Alaric DeArment

CHADDS FORD, Pa. Endo Pharmaceuticals will acquire generic drug maker Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for $1.2 billion, Endo said Tuesday.

Endo said the purchase of privately owned Qualitest would expand its offering of branded drugs, generics, devices and services in areas such as pain and urology. Qualitest is the sixth largest generic drug company in the United States, as measured by prescriptions filled.

“This is an exciting day for Endo,” Endo president and CEO David Holveck said. “The acquisition of Qualitest accelerates our stated strategy of building a diversified healthcare company better able to respond to the changing economics that drive the U.S. healthcare environment.”

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Praising senator, pharmacy groups plead for patient choice in Tricare legislation

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Speaking with one voice, the nation’s largest chain and independent pharmacy groups gave a thumbs-up Monday to recent efforts by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., to preserve the right of military members and their dependents to obtain their prescriptions through a retail pharmacy without penalty.

The message of support came from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association. The two organizations co-authored a letter thanking Lautenberg for his continued leadership in congressional efforts to protect Tricare beneficiaries’ access to retail pharmacies.

The joint letter applauded the New Jersey Democrat for offering a Sense of Congress amendment expressing the Senate’s support for beneficiary choice in the military health program, which covers some 9 million members of the military and their families. Lautenberg has been a leading voice in Congress for legislation that would ensure Tricare beneficiaries do not face increased cost-sharing if they choose to fill their prescriptions and/or obtain other professional health services at a retail pharmacy, rather than at a base pharmacy or through mail order.

 

“We believe the choice of where to obtain prescription medications is best left to Tricare beneficiaries,” stated the letter, jointly signed by NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey.

 

 

ATricare co-payment freeze provision already passed the House of Representatives under the leadership of House Armed Service Committee chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., and ranking member Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif. That measure prohibited a pharmacy co-pay increase. Members of the Senate are slated to debate their version of the Defense Authorization bill, which includes funding for Tricare, but the legislation likely won’t be taken up until after the November elections.

 

 

“As the Defense authorization moves towards final enactment, we will be seeking language specifically prohibiting co-pay increases to best protect beneficiaries’ access to their retail pharmacies,” noted NACDS and NCPA in their letter.

 

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Omron turns up home blood pressure monitoring promotion with TV doctor

BY DSN STAFF

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. —Omron Healthcare earlier this month joined forces with “The Dr. Oz Show” in an integrated media partnership to help spread the word about the importance of home blood pressure monitoring.

The Omron Healthcare integration included a sponsored segment on “The Dr. Oz Show’s” premiere episode, which aired Sept. 7, in addition to a consumer incentive that was revealed by Dr. Oz during the show. The first 50,000 viewers to visit DoctorOz.com were able to download a $10 coupon good on any Omron Healthcare home blood pressure monitor at participating retailers.

“High blood pressure is a growing concern in the United States among adults, and is often referred to as the ‘silent killer,’” stated Ranndy Kellogg, Omron Healthcare VP marketing and product development. “We’re thrilled to align with ‘America’s Doctor’ in the Sept. 7 season premier to help spread the word about the importance of home blood pressure monitoring, further helping to decrease the risk of heart disease and increase life expectancy.”

As many as 1-in-3 people suffer from high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Monitoring blood pressure at home is an important step people can take to reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke, Omron stated. More than 50% of people with high blood pressure who monitor at home show an improvement in medication compliance and are quicker to take action.

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