PHARMACY

Greenstone launches authorized generic cholesterol drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PEAPACK, N.J. — Greenstone has launched an authorized generic version of a drug used to treat cholesterol.

Greenstone, the generics arm of Pfizer, announced the launch of authorized generic atorvastatin calcium tablets in the 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg strengths, in bottle sizes ranging from 90 to 1,000. The drug is a version of the parent company’s cholesterol drug Lipitor.

An authorized generic is a brand marketed under its generic name at a reduced price.


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APhA survey finds growing demand for MTM services

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association has released the latest edition of a publication for pharmacists who provide medication therapy management services, the professional group said Monday.

The group released the APhA Medication Therapy Management Digest — Pharmacists Emerging as Interdisciplinary Health Care Team Members as the latest survey suggests 70% of MTM providers had patients receiving services. That figure, from 2010-2012, included 49% of providers reporting a moderate or significant increase in provision of services, while 34% of providers expect an additional increase in the number of contract opportunities this year.

The survey found that demand for MTM is growing, and providers and payers alike reported enhancing practices and organizations to accommodate it. Twenty-four percent of respondents reported pharmacist schedules being adjusted to facilitate service delivery, while 23% reported adding full-time pharmacist employees, and 10% reported remodeling facilities. Payers’ modifications included enhancing MTM program offerings to beneficiaries for 2012 increasing in-house and contracted provider staff and contracting with an MTM network service provider to administer programs.

One feature of the 2012 survey is that, for the first time, it asked providers about the provision of MTM services within integrated care delivery models such as accountable care organizations and medical homes. Thirty-one percent of respondents said they were providing services in an integrated care delivery mode, while 15% said they were providing them in a medical home model, and 10% said they were providing them in a transition of care model. Thirty-three percent were providing MTM, while 32% were providing patient education, and 27% were providing drug information services.

 

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FDA approves Bayer’s Stivarga for gastrointestinal stromal tumors

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug made by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals for treating tumors of the digestive system, the agency said Monday.

The FDA announced the approval of Stivarga (regorafenib) for gastrointestinal stromal tumors that could not be removed through surgery or had spread to other parts of the body and were no longer responding to treatment with Novartis’ Gleevec (imatinib) or Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib).

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GIST, occur when cancerous cells form in the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. According to the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 new cases of GIST occur annually in the United States, most often in older adults.

Stivarga was approved for treating colorectal cancer in September 2012.

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