PHARMACY

Express Scripts adds PCSK9 inhibitors to National Preferred Formulary

BY David Salazar

ST. LOUIS. —  Express Scripts this week announced that it would include two new drugs in a new class of cholesterol treatment in its National Preferred Formulary. The PCSK9 inhibitors Repatha (made by Amgen) and Praulent (made by Sanofi and Regeneron), both approved this summer for treatment of certain patients with high cholesterol, will be added to the formulary to ensure that the right patients have access to them.

“Since these new medications were approved a few months ago, our pharmacy experts have worked with medical professionals and our plan sponsors to ensure these drugs are used specifically by patients who will benefit the most,” Express Scripts SVP and chief medical officer Dr. Steve Miller, said. “We are pleased to include both drugs on our National Preferred Formulary, and to put innovative medicines within reach of patients who truly need them.”

Before the first PCSK9 inhibitor was launched, the company implemented it Cholesterol Care Value Program that works to ensure only those who really need the treatment receive it, as statins are still the best option for most high cholesterol patients, Express Scripts said. The company plans to cap plan costs for PCSK9 inhibitors in 2016 for patients in the CCV program.

“Aligned with our clients, we have achieved a more balanced marketplace, which has led to more collaborative discussions with manufacturers like Amgen, Regeneron and Sanofi, who share our interest in delivering innovative treatments to patients when clinically appropriate,” Miller said. “As a result, we are confident that we have received the best price possible for both products, without needing to exclude either.”

Accredo Specialty Pharmacy will provide patients with Praulent and Repatha, and patients will have access to pharmacists and nurses to train them how to use the injectable drugs, and will offer support and monitoring to ensure proper adherence.

“By providing specialized patient care to improve adherence, predicting which patients will best respond by using the industry's most robust set of pharmacy data, and leveraging our focused scale to drive affordability, Express Scripts uniquely creates the most value for patients and plan sponsors,” Miller said.

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Americans are concerned about the security of their health data

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX – As many as 76% of U.S. adults are concerned that their health care records are vulnerable to hackers, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the University of Phoenix College of Health Professions School of Health Services Administration. 
 
Those in their 20s (72%) and 30s (71%) are the least likely to be concerned with the vulnerability of their health care records when compared with older generations, however a strong majority still express concern. Approximately 4 in 5 U.S. adults in their 40s (80%) and 50s (83%) reported concern.
 
“In the digital age of health care, protecting patients’ private information from cyber criminals while still making it readily available to the patients themselves is a complex challenge,” said Mark Johannsson, academic dean for University of Phoenix School of Health Services Administration. “This dichotomy demonstrates the importance of health care systems collaborating with technology industry leaders to preserve patient records, while also making them easily accessible.”
 
U.S. adults are fairly split on their comfort level sharing their health care records across health care networks locally, across state lines and across country borders. More than half (55%) say they are very or somewhat comfortable, and 45% say they are not at all or not very comfortable. Those in their 20s and 30s were more likely to be comfortable (60% and 61%) than older respondents. For those in their 40s, 50s and 60s+, 55%, 48% and 54%, respectively, are very or somewhat comfortable with the possibility of their health care records being shared.
 
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Camber launches generic Mirapex, Plavix

BY David Salazar

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Camber Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday that it had launched two new generics.

One of the new launches is the company’s generic of Plavix (clopidogrel) tablets, which is indicated to prevent blood clots after heart attack or stroke, as well as in patients with heart and blood vessel disorders. The drug will be available in 20-, 90- and 500-count bottles of 75-mg tablets.

Camber has also rolled out its Mirapex (prampipexole dihydrochloride) tablets. The drug is meant to treat Parkinson’s diseases and restless legs syndrome. It will be available in 90-count bottles of 0.125-, 0.25-, 0.75, 1- and 1.5-mg tablets. 

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