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GPhA: Generic drugs represented cost savings of $239 billion in 2013

BY Michael Johnsen

 

WASHINGTON — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Wednesday released a report showing that generic drugs saved the United States health system $239 billion in 2013, a 14% increase over cost savings achieved in 2012, and the largest annual savings to date. The report also calculates that generic medications saved a record of nearly $1.5 trillion over the most recent decade (2004-2013).
 
According to the report, nervous system and cardiovascular treatments in the last 10 years accounted for 58%, or $851 billion, of cost savings.
 
“Just last month, we have seen how smart health choices like opting for generic drugs hold the power to move our nation’s budget trajectory in a positive direction," stated Ralph Neas, GPhA president and CEO. "In fact, recent Congressional Budget Office estimates now predict that Medicare and Medicaid spending is expected to drop by billions over the next decade,” he said. “With more than $239 billion in savings in 2013 alone from generic drugs, it is clear that generics have played a critical part in lowering health cost projections. This track record of savings is unparalleled, and the savings will grow substantially as we enter the era of biosimilars, the next frontier of generic industry innovation.”
 
In recent years, spending on federal health care programs has slowed sharply. In August 2014 the CBO changed its estimates for Medicare spending, projecting a drop of $49 billion (less than 1%) from 2015 and 2024, while Medicaid spending is expected to drop by $40 billion (approximately 1%) over the next decade. Generic drugs, which provide the same medicine and same outcomes for patients at a lower price, played a key role in the downturn of rising health costs.
 
All data were compiled by IMS Health on behalf of GPhA.
 
 

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Walmart to rebrand Express format

BY Michael Johnsen

 

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Tuesday stated it will rebrand its small Express grocery format to the Walmart Neighborhood Market, according to published reports. 
 
All future Express stores, which average around 12,000 sq. ft., will open under the Neighborhood Market banner. The 21 existing Express stores will be rebranded. 
 
The reason behind the name change is that consumers use both formats for the same purpose — in-and-out shops, fill-in trips and prescription refills. Both formats have more grocery items with limited general merchandise, fuel and pharmacy.
 
In February Walmart announced plans to increase its capital investment in smaller formats from 120 to 150 new stores for the fiscal year to between 270 and 300.  Fresh food- and pharmacy-driven comp sales across its Neighborhood Market banner, which is larger at 38,000 square feet, was the impetus behind that decision. 
 

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CVS Health names EVP for strategy, policy and market development

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health has named Mary Langowski EVP for strategy, policy and market development, effective Oct. 14.

Langowski will join CVS Health from international law firm DLA Piper where she serves as the chair of the Health Care Policy and Regulatory Practice and the co-chair of the Food and Beverage Sector.

In her new role at CVS Health, Langowski will direct CVS Health's strategy and market development functions, with a focus on identifying and expanding enterprise opportunities to new markets as the company plays an increasingly prominent role in the evolving health care system. Her portfolio will also include leading the company's government affairs and policy development teams at the state and federal level providing counsel to help navigate the policies, regulations and market trends that today's health care companies face.

"As health care continues to evolve, CVS Health is committed to delivering solutions for better health to our customers and the patients we serve. We need a leader who understands our business fundamentals and how they intersect with health care policy and the political landscape," stated Thomas Moriarty, EVP, chief health care strategy officer and general counsel at CVS Health.
 
"Mary's deep expertise in helping clients translate nuanced public policy into actionable business strategy will make her an invaluable asset to our leadership team," stated Moriarty. "Her experience in analyzing and shaping health care policy at every level of government gives her a unique perspective on our competitive landscape, our operations and our strategy going forward."

Langowski's experience spans the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. Prior to her role at DLA Piper, Langowski served in senior positions at Alston & Bird and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal where she provided strategic counsel to clients with a special focus on health care.

In addition to her private-sector experience, Langowski served as a senior health care policy advisor for Sen. Tom Harkin from 2001 to 2004, and was the chief policy advisor at the Iowa Department of Public Health under Gov. Tom Vilsack.

"I am delighted to join CVS Health," Langowski said. "As America's premier pharmacy innovation company, CVS Health stands on the front lines of health care delivery bringing vital products and services to millions of consumers in virtually every community from coast to coast. I look forward to joining the leadership team of this dynamic company to help better serve CVS Health's clients and customers, foster growth for CVS Health, and help the company drive innovation in our health care system to provide higher quality, more affordable care and improved patient health."

 

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