PHARMACY

Former Rite Aid Health GM launches pharmacy consultancy group

BY Michael Johnsen

HARRISBURG, Pa. Former Rite Aid Health Solutions general manager and 25-year drug retailing veteran Greg Drew has recently formed his own pharmacy consultancy agency, called Pharmacy Expertise, Drug Store News has learned.

Drew, president and chief executive officer of the new consultancy company, and his team of consultants at Pharmacy Expertise provide insights into a number of pharmacy-centric issues, including: retail clinical initiatives, medication-therapy management development and developing a managed care strategy.

“Our consultants can bring you the needed market intelligence and experience to help you understand what the key retail players are thinking and how that may affect your plans,” Drew said on the Pharmacy Expertise Web site. “We will not only advise you of what we know, but we will reach out to our networks in retail to validate our thinking and communicate any paradigm shifts that we detect.”

In all, Pharmacy Expertise provides assistance for many pharmacy market segments, including pharmaceutical managed markets, managed care organizations, employers, and pharmacy delivery channels. The firm specializes in providing evaluation of potential synergies between the providers, payers and distributors of pharmaceuticals. Drew and his associates also provide business development services in evaluating current and future contractual and partnership relationships in emerging pharmacy areas such as medication therapy management, retail clinics and medication adherence.

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Texas congressman asks reason for six-month delay on FDA confiscation of Celsus’ contaminated heparin

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration waited six months to confiscate contaminated supplies of the blood-thinning drug heparin from Cincinnati-based Celsus Labs, and a congressman from Texas wants to know why.

Last month, United States Marshalls seized 11 lots of the drug from Celsus after the company allegedly failed to properly recall it on its own.

Contaminated heparin has been blamed for several hundred adverse reactions and 81 deaths across the country, though no deaths have been linked with Celsus’ heparin. The contamination comes from over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate, which mimics the blood-thinning properties of heparin and was mixed with several lots of the drug using ingredients from China.

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Specialty Pharmacy Summit to take place in March

BY Alaric DeArment

SHORT HILLS, N.J. A large specialty pharmacy network and group-contracting organization will be host of the fifth annual Specialty Pharmacy Summit in March.

Armada Health Care announced Tuesday that the summit would take place at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas from March 10 to March 13. Armada expects almost 1,000 people to attend, and they will represent more than 50 percent of the total annual expenditure on specialty pharmacy in the United States. Last year’s summit included more than 500 specialty pharmacy providers, industry-channel partners and representatives of industry-associated vendors, as well as PBMs and insurers.

Armada said the summit would give specialty pharmacy providers an opportunity to evaluate new products, gain knowledge of industry trends and network with peers, payers and vendors.

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