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Express Scripts to provide services for cancer side effect treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts will provide services for patients using a drug to manage a debilitating side effect of many anti-cancer treatments, ESI said.

The PBM announced that it would provide services for Access Pharmaceuticals’ MuGard through its HealthBridge Pharma & Biotech division. MuGard is an oral wound rinse and coating used to manage oral mucositis. ESI said it would be the exclusive provider of third-party logistics, or 3PL services for the product, and the preferred specialty pharmacy for patients using it, through subsidiary CuraScript.

"We are excited about working with Access Pharmaceuticals as a fully integrated supply chain partner," ESI VP strategy and contracting for pharmaceuticals and biotechnology Kevin Cast said. "The award of an exclusive 3PL position and preferred specialty pharmacy position for MuGard is absolute validation of our commitment to providing vital access solutions for pharmaceutical and biotech organizations."

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GSK announces strategic partnership with McLaren

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON — GlaxoSmithKline and McLaren Group have entered a long-term strategic partnership.

Running initially until 2016, McLaren will help deliver world-class performance across GSK’s global businesses, including its Consumer Healthcare, manufacturing and research and development divisions.

Also part of the agreement, the companies will build a new state-of-the-art learning facility, McLaren GSK Centre for Applied Performance, which will focus on developing U.K. engineering skills and processes. It will be located at McLaren’s headquarters in Woking, England, and open in 2013.

“I am delighted to announce this partnership with McLaren, which brings together two British companies whose continued success hinges on the ability to innovate and rapidly respond to change and competitor activity. McLaren has an unparalleled reputation for innovation built on rigorous analytics and fast decision making,” GSK CEO Andrew Witty said. “This partnership is another example of GSK looking outside its sector for inspiration and fresh perspectives on how we can achieve our strategic goals in an ever more challenging and fast changing business environment.”

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Walgreens’ Pegus addresses Joslin Diabetes Roundtable

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Walgreens on Friday spoke of the breadth of programs the chain has developed, many in partnership with Joslin Diabetes Center, to assist people with diabetes in living more healthily, at the 2011 Joslin Diabetes Roundtable held here.

"Diabetes is one of the most serious health issues facing our country today, and the evidence is clear that new and innovative approaches are needed to successfully impact the spread of this epidemic," Walgreens chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus said. "With Walgreens unmatched footprint of over 8,500 points of care, we are uniquely positioned to provide patients access to programs that can help them both prevent and manage this disease. In Joslin, we have an ideal partner to help us build on the experience of our clinicians and drive measurable health outcomes for our patients."

"Diabetes is best managed using a multidisciplinary, team based approach to care, and keeping this disease under control requires patients to make decisions on everything from food to medication on a daily basis," Joslin SVP and chief medical officer Martin Abrahamson said. "Walgreens has the scope to address patient wellness and prevention and also provide interventions at multiple points of care. This, along with our clinical expertise, is a powerful combination, and we are excited by the difference we can make together."

In 2006, Walgreens and Joslin announced an alliance to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes and those at risk. At the 2011 Joslin Diabetes Roundtable, Pegus highlighted the key diabetes initiatives aimed at cost-effectively preventing and addressing the disease, including:

  • Collaborative efforts between Joslin and Walgreens, such as a diabetes training program aimed at thousands of pharmacists, online disease management training for Take Care nurse practitioners and MDs, and diabetes education classes in community settings;

  • Access to affordable ways to promote wellness and prevent the disease through Walgreens Take Care Clinics, Wellness Bus Tours and new Food Oasis programs in "food desert" markets without access to fresh foods; and

  • The success of pharmacist and health coach intervention efforts at the worksite through the Dimensions Program, and in the community through Walgreens Optimal Wellness.

The Joslin Diabetes Roundtable is an annual event that brings together leaders of the diabetes community to discuss and share thoughts on advancing care and education for patients and their families. In addition to hearing from Joslin experts and thought leaders from industry and academia, attendees take part in interactive breakout sessions aimed at spurring new thinking on addressing diabetes in America.

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