PHARMACY

FDA approves new topical scar treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

PETALUMA, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new topical drug for treating scars made by Oculus Innovative Sciences, the drug maker said Wednesday.

The FDA has approved Microcyn scar-management hydrogel, used to treat scars resulting from burns, surgery and trauma wounds. Oculus and a partnering company, Quinnova Pharmaceuticals, intend to start selling the drug in the first half of next year.

"We have known for years that there has been a practitioner demand for an efficacious and safe prescription treatment to manage hypertrophic and keloid scarring," Quinnova CEO Jeffrey Day said. "Having seen firsthand the compelling impact that our Microcyn-based technology products have had on the management of conditions such as atopic dermatitis, we are equally excited about its potential as well in managing scars."

 

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Generics to drive down HIV drug sales in next decade

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGTON, Mass. — The availability of new generic drugs for treating HIV will erode sales of HIV antiretroviral drugs into the next decade in developed countries, according to a new report.

Healthcare market research firm Decision Resources released the report Wednesday, showing that sales of antiretroviral drugs in the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Japan would be $13.1 billion in 2022, down from 2012’s $13.4 billion.

Meanwhile, such single-tablet regimens as Atripla (efavirenz; emtricitabine; tenofovir) from Gilead Sciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb will drive sales in the future.

 

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CMS Medicare analysis found mail order more expensive than community pharmacy across 21 plans

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Mail-order pharmacies frequently charge Medicare prescription drug plans more — as much as 83% — than community pharmacies do for filling prescriptions, a new analysis by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has concluded.

CMS examined claims from March 2012 and found 21 drug plans that routinely paid more for prescriptions filled through the mail compared to a community pharmacy.

“This analysis should be a wake-up call to any employer, government agency or other sponsor of a health care plan that blindly accepts the recommendations of PBMs when it comes to drug benefit design and incentivizing mail order utilization,” said Douglas Hoey, National Community Pharmacists Association CEO, in a release issued Tuesday. “Mail order is not for everyone and its appeal as a cost-saver is severely undermined by Medicare’s analysis. Instead, health plans should allow patients to choose the pharmacy that best meets their health needs and helps them get the most out of their prescription drug regimen.”

An independent analysis of 2010 Medicare prescription drug event records found that community pharmacies provide 90-day medication supplies at lower cost than mail order pharmacies and that local pharmacists substitute lower-cost generic drugs more often when compared to mail order pharmacies, NCPA added.

 

 

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