PHARMACY

FDA accepts application for Gilead HIV drug

BY Alaric DeArment

FOSTER CITY, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has accepted a regulatory approval application from Gilead Sciences for a drug to treat HIV, the company said.

Gilead said the FDA planned to review the application for the Quad by Aug. 27.

The Quad combines four Gilead drugs — Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), cobicistat and elvitegravir — into one pill. The last drug was licensed from Japan Tobacco.


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Supervalu banners offer pharmacy services to Express Scripts clients

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Food and pharmacy retail chains Jewel-Osco and Shop ‘n Save, which are owned by Supervalu, announced that they will enhance their pharmacy services in an effort to cater to Express Scripts clients.

Express Scripts customers are urged to transfer their prescriptions to their nearby Jewel-Osco or Shop ‘n Save pharmacy as soon as possible so that the companies can provide patients with an easy and smooth transition.

Jewel-Osco operates 173 pharmacies in the Midwest, while Shop ‘n Save operates 34 pharmacies in the St. Louis metropolitan area and central Illinois.

“Many Express Scripts patients may be concerned that they will not have a pharmacy to fill their prescriptions at the start of the new year,” said Jewel-Osco VP pharmacy operations Tom Rousonelos and Shop ‘n Save pharmacy district manager Chris Basler. “We want these patients to know that we welcome the opportunity to serve them and that [we have] the resources to meet their needs.”

Additional Supervalu banners, including Supervalu itself, have announced their commitment to enhancing pharmacy services to cater to these clients. The additional chains include Supervalu, Acme Sav-on, Albertsons Sav-on, Albertsons Osco, Cub Pharmacy, Farm Fresh, Shaw’s Osco and Shoppers pharmacies.

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Walgreens releases patient-level strategy to either keep or help transition ESI prescriptions

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Friday unveiled a plan to help Express Scripts patients to either continue using Walgreens when possible or to make a smooth transition to another community pharmacy. The plan seeks to minimize patient disruption and inconvenience, the pharmacy operator stated.

“In recent days, we are hearing more and more from our customers and patients that they are upset about losing access to Walgreens pharmacies as a result of Express Scripts’ actions,” Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson said. “Our pharmacy patients have come to depend on their longstanding, personal relationships with their trusted Walgreens pharmacists, and they don’t want to give that up. Because of the trust they have in their Walgreens pharmacist, many patients are asking us about ways that they can continue accessing our pharmacy, health and wellness services. As a result, we are undertaking a comprehensive plan to continue serving our patients when possible, and in other cases help them make a smooth transition and minimize the disruption and inconvenience they may face.”

The Walgreens plan for Express Scripts members includes a special discount during January on the annual membership fee for the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. Walgreens also is providing additional pharmacist and staff consultations and is providing coupons for discounted health and wellness products and gift cards to eligible Express Scripts members.

On Tuesday, Walgreens reported that "tens of thousands" of patients already have applied for the Walgreens PSC.

Walgreens said it will continue to work closely with employers, health plans and mid-tier PBMs that wish to maintain access to the company’s pharmacies and expanding health and wellness services. According to Walgreens, more than 120 Express Scripts clients to date have informed Walgreens that they have either switched to a different PBM or taken other steps, consistent with their contracts, to maintain access to Walgreens pharmacies in 2012.

PSC is an existing Walgreens drug discount program, with nearly 2 million people enrolled. The program offers savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications. For more than 400 generic medications, Walgreens offers a three-month supply for less than $1 a week. Normal annual membership is $20 per individual or $35 for a family. For the month of January Walgreens is offering a promotion on one-year memberships, making them only $5 for individuals or $10 for family memberships. This discount is open to all PSC eligible customers.

The initiative also will apply to Duane Reade stores.


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G.WORLEY says:
Jan-09-2012 04:32 am

Since most of the prescriptions that I am on doesn't have a generic equivalent and there isn't a generic available their so called PSC isn't any good. And, I don't believe their figures one bit. I blame both Walgreens and Express Scripts for the issues. I pay the same co-pays no matter what pharmacy I use. Walgreens cannot make this good! IMHO it is Walgreens who is going to be hurt the most of this otherwise they would not be issuing such a plan to try to keep customers. When I switch my prescriptions from Walgreens to CVS last week, I asked how many had switched and they said about 1,500 between the two local stores. George Worley

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