PHARMACY

Expect more retail pharmacy operators and wholesalers to accumulate significant transglobal frequent flyer miles

BY Michael Johnsen

With is proposed acquisition of German wholesaler Celesio, McKesson creates a global distribution enterprise on the scale of Walgreens, Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen before them. In addition to wholesaling, Celesio operates about 2,200 pharmacies across six countries and is the No. 2 operator in the United Kingdom. 

Retail pharmacy and drug sourcing both are more and more becoming a global business. Just last week, the head of the second-biggest drug chain in Brazil announced he would be open to a buyout. So expect more of these headlines in the months to come. 

Walgreens and Alliance Boots have really established the utility in global sourcing by exceeding expectations on the synergies generated out of their deal. And AmerisourceBergen becomes a part of that enterprise in 2014. 

To be sure, now that two of the three largest U.S. wholesalers have brokered deals that places their drug procurement on a global scale, Cardinal Health may be the next company announcing a major deal. 

According to Drug Channels’ Adam Fein, who broke down the deal in detail as part of his latest blog, Cardinal may be inclined to join with Econdisc Contracting Solutions, the group purchasing organization with Express Scripts, Kroger and Supervalu. Or they could deepen ties with CVS Caremark. 

 

 

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FDA approves first single-entity, extended-release hydrocodone drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new opioid painkiller made by Zogenix, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Zohydro ER (hydrocodone) extended-release capsules for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment. The agency said the drug was the first extended-release hydrocodone product not combined with another drug, such as acetaminophen, to be approved by the agency.

Because it is a so-called single-entity hydrocodone product, Zohydro ER is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance. Drugs that combine no more than 15 mg of hydrocodone with another analgesic, such as AbbVie’s Vicodin, are Schedule III drugs, though the FDA said this week that it would recommend those products for CII scheduling as well.

 

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Report: Walgreens to acquire five pharmacies operated by hospital system Meritus Health

BY Michael Johnsen

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — According to a Herald-Mail Media report published Thursday, Walgreens is set to acquire five Home Care pharmacies operated by hospital system Meritus Health within the next six weeks. 

The inpatient pharmacy that serves all patients of Meritus Medical Center is separate from the retail Home Care Pharmacy business and will remain unaffected, according to the report.

“We did a strategic assessment of our pharmacy business more than a year ago and recognized that like many other healthcare services, there are substantial changes taking place in the retail pharmacy market,” Meritus Health’s president and CEO Joseph Ross reported to the Herald-Mail. “We evaluated many potential partners and were most impressed with Walgreens for their level of commitment to customer service and quality patient care. After thorough and thoughtful review, we chose to partner with Walgreens. This enables Meritus Enterprises to continue to focus on its core business and continue to strengthen its physician practices in this era of healthcare reform.” 

 

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