HEALTH

HDMA announces recipient of Rx Safety and Healthcare Leadership Award

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Tuesday honored Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., with its Rx Safety and Healthcare Leadership Award. The award recognizes public officials for their leadership and commitment to public policies that support and promote the safe and efficient delivery of medicines.

“Sen. Roberts understands and recognizes the need to ensure the continued safety and efficiency of our nation’s healthcare supply chain — and the important role HDMA distributors play in it,” stated HDMA president and CEO John Gray.

HDMA noted that Roberts, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance, is a longtime advocate of policies that enhance the safety and efficiency of the healthcare supply chain, particularly in the area of prescription drug reimbursement. Along with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Roberts is a primary sponsor of bipartisan legislation — S. 733 — to correct the treatment of prompt pay discounts under the Medicare Part B Average Sales Price reimbursement metric for prescription drugs and biologics. The legislation would enhance patient access to these medications and increase supply chain efficiencies that distributors provide to the healthcare system when serving physicians who participate in the Part B program.

The most recent Rx Safety and Healthcare Leadership Award honoree was Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, who is a co-sponsor of the companion House legislation to Roberts’ bill, H.R. 905.

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Medical community decries decision to maintain status quo of emergency contraceptive

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — A group of medical associations on Wednesday denounced the government’s decision to maintain the status quo with regard to the prescription status of the emergency contraceptive Plan B.

“As advocates for the health and well-being of all young people, the [American Academy of Pediatrics] recommends that adolescents postpone sexual activity until they are fully ready for the emotional, physical and financial consequences of sex,” stated Robert Block, AAP president. “However, as physicians who care for our nation’s children, it is our responsibility to protect the health of our teenage patients, and an unintended pregnancy can have significant implications for adolescents’ physical and emotional health.”

Plan B has long been an industry hot button, even before Barr Pharmaceuticals’ subsidiary Duramed first started shipping the first and only dual-status nonprescription/prescription drug in November 2006. Plan B was to be sold from behind the pharmacy counter without a prescription to women 18 and older; and dispensed to women younger than 18 so long as they had a valid prescription. Before gaining that dual status, Plan B was a de facto behind-the-counter medicine in nine states, where pharmacists were allowed to dispense a Plan B course without a prescription under certain circumstances.

Former FDA commissioner Lester Crawford was the commissioner who delayed the FDA decision to approve the prescription-to-OTC switch of Plan B — based on a reluctance to create a dual status class of medicines, according to Crawford. Crawford resigned abruptly in 2005 (for reasons unrelated to Plan B), and the Congressional approval of his proposed successor, Andrew von Eschenbach, was delayed until FDA in essence promised to approve the switch application for the emergency contraceptive.

The medicine was controversial even among pharmacists, many of whom were implored by their peers to practice a refuse-and-refer policy, whereby a pharmacist who was not comfortable adjudicating a Plan B request would be able to refuse the prescription and refer that prescription to a pharmacist who would fill it, even if that meant sending the patient to another pharmacy.

The group of medical associations on Wednesday was particularly concerned that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services overruled what would have been an approved sale of Plan B with no prescription restrictions by the Food and Drug Administration. “The decision to continue restricting access to this safe and effective product is medically inexplicable,” Block said. “The AAP strongly encourages the use of contraception — including [emergency contraception] by adolescents who choose sexual activity, and recommends that teens receive appropriate counseling on EC use by a pediatrician or other primary care physician.”

The group of medical associations included the AAP, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) and the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine. The AAP and SAHM recommend that adolescents be counseled on emergency contraception in the context of a discussion on sexual safety and family planning, regardless of current intentions for sexual behavior. All contraceptive counseling for adolescents should include information on the use and availability of emergency contraception wherever these visits occur, including emergency departments, clinics and hospitals, the associations added.

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H.ZANDIO says:
Dec-12-2011 12:53 am

A lot of young people are involved in premarital sex. At this age, they are not yet ready financially and emotionally. Most of them use contraceptives to avoid pregnancy. The morning after product is accessible without a prescription. However, the pill is only accessible behind a pharmacy counter, with ID. Regardless of an FDA advice that the drug be moved from behind the pharmacy counter and be more widely accessible, it will still be purely limited. These restrictions may make it more difficult to get then before. http://www.newsytype.com/13889-plan-b/

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Mead Johnson Nutrition elevates three executives

BY Michael Johnsen

GLENVIEW, Ill. — Mead Johnson Nutrition Wednesday evening announced a number of management changes under Mead Johnson president and CEO Steve Golsby.

“Given the growing size and complexity of our global operations, I recognized the need to refine our management structure in order to drive superior performance and operationalize our ambitious strategic plan,” Golsby said.

Kasper Jakobsen, currently the company’s president Americas, will assume the newly created position of EVP and COO effective Jan. 1. Jakobsen will head up the company’s global operating committee and lead all regional business activities, as well as global marketing and global supply chain, with overall responsibility for driving the company’s operational performance.

Charles Urbain, 57, will assume the new role of SVP stakeholder relations and chief development officer, with overall responsibility for the company’s business development activities and external relations, including external affairs, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility. Additionally, Pete Leemputte, 54, has been named EVP and CFO in recognition of his contributions to the business and his leadership responsibilities across the company’s finance, tax, treasury, investor relations, information technology and audit functions.

Jakobsen, 49, has been leading Mead Johnson’s businesses across North America and Latin America since January 2009. He joined the company in 1998 and advanced through several positions of increasing regional responsibility, including general manager in the Philippines and Pacific Islands and VP and general manager for South Asia. From 2006 through 2008, he served as SVP Asia-Pacific.

Prior to joining Mead Johnson, Jakobsen worked for nearly a decade at Unilever in various marketing roles. Born and raised in Denmark, he holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Auckland University in New Zealand.

Urbain joined Mead Johnson in 1996 and has led each of the company’s regional businesses, as well as the finance function. Since 2009, he has served as president Asia & Europe.

Each of the executives will continue to report directly to Golsby.

 


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