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Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions to provide specialty services to Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield members

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has named Hy-Vee’s specialty pharmacy division its preferred provider of specialty pharmacy benefits for members, Hy-Vee said.

Starting Oct. 1, Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions will provide services to Wellmark members with disease states requiring such complex drug regimens as cancer, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and others.

"Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions’ customized patient programs, clinical expertise and dedication to customer service will allow Wellmark to deliver high-quality specialty pharmacy benefits while effectively managing costs," Wellmark pharmacy director Matt Hosford said. "Our combined commitment to quality and service will provide greater value for our customers."

Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions will offer services such as pharmacists available around the clock to answer questions or concerns, one-stop shopping for prescriptions and over-the-counter medications and medication delivery through Hy-Vee pharmacies or directly to patients’ homes, offices or other locations.

"We are very pleased Wellmark recognized that the unique care model offered by Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions offers their members innovative, cost-effective specialty pharmacy benefit solutions that improve health outcomes," Hy-Vee Pharmacy Soutions president Michael Agostino said.

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Under PEPFAR, Matrix granted tentative approval for novel co-packaged HIV/AIDS treatment

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH — Mylan subsidiary Matrix Labs has received tentative approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its new drug application of a co-packaged antiretroviral treatment under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Matrix said that lamivudine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate tablets in the 300-mg/300-mg strength, co-packaged with nevirapine tablets in the 200-mg strength, would be eligible for purchase outside of the United States in certain developing countries. Lamivudine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and nevirapine are the generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline’s Epivir, Gilead Sciences’ Viread and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Viramune, respectively.

"The approval of lamivudine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate tablets co-packaged with bevirapine tablets is an important product developed by Matrix for the treatment of HIV/AIDS," Mylan president Heather Bresch said. "For the first time, it makes available a co-pack option that can help patients with the carrying and storage of this critical first-line ARV cocktail. Co-packs are convenient and may help to facilitate patient compliance with what often can be part of a burdensome drug regimen for HIV/AIDS patients managing many prescriptions and therapies."

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Watson, Amphastar get go-ahead for generic Lovenox

BY Allison Cerra

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of a deep vein thrombosis treatment.

Watson Pharmaceuticals said that Amphastar Pharmaceuticals’ abbreviated new drug application for enoxaparin sodium injection in the 100-mg/mL and 150-mg/mL strengths received approval from the FDA. Enoxaparin sodium injection is the generic equivalent of Sanofi’s Lovenox.

The generic drug development is part of Watson and Amphastar’s exclusive distribution agreement, whereby Amphastar will supply generic Lovenox to Watson, which will market, sell and distribute the product to the U.S. retail pharmacy channel. Additionally, Amphastar will receive between 50% and 55% of Watson’s gross profits on product sales, depending on the number of competitors in the market.

Lovenox and its generic equivalents had total U.S. sales of approximately $2.6 billion, according to IMS Health data.

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