PHARMACY

Lupinetti appointed First DataBank vp

BY Drew Buono

SAN BRUNO, Calif. First DataBank has announced that Patrick Lupinetti will become the first vice president and editorial director of government and pricing services. First DataBank provides drug databases that are used within health care information systems.

In this newly-created role, Lupinetti will have the responsibility of the publishing of all First DataBank current and new forms of data and information related to drug pricing and for overseeing and enhancing the company’s customer and supplier relationships with various federal government agencies and respective state Medicaid programs.

Previously, Lupinetti served as the director of the special projects unit, medical fraud control, of the Office of the New York State Attorney General, for 21 years.

“My work on pharmaceutical pricing issues has made it clear to me that accurate, verifiable and clearly defined drug pricing data is fundamentally necessary for a fair and rational marketplace,” said Lupinetti. “The opportunity to work for First DataBank permits me to apply what I have learned to contribute to the development of such a marketplace.”

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Amgen discussing Aranesp label changes

BY Allison Cerra

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.

Biotechnology company Amgen stated late Thursday that it is discussing potential safety updates for its anemia drugs with the Food and Drug Administration.

The drugs are part of a class of drugs called erythropoiesis stimulating agents, or ESAs, used to treat anemia in chemotherapy and kidney-failure patients. They include Aranesp and Epogen, made by Amgen, and Johnson & Johnson’s Procrit.

The FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee will meet during the first quarter as part of its ongoing review for ESA therapies, the company said.

Earlier this year, the FDA issued requirements for stronger warnings on the drugs and asked for additional studies. The FDA issued a black box warning on the drugs, the most critical warning a drug can carry.

Amgen currently is conducting studies to further determine the possible safety risks when patients use their pharmaceuticals.

Additional safety label changes will likely be based on data from a breast cancer patient study and follow-up data from a cervical cancer patient study, Amgen said.

Shares of Amgen fell $2.05, or 3.7 percent, to $53.10 in premarket trading.

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Vemics enters agreement to use eRx Network

BY Drew Buono

NANUET, N.Y. Vemics and eRx Network have announced an agreement under which eRx will use Vemics’ iMedicor online, HIPPA compliant Electronic Health Record transport network, which will carry refill requests electronically rather than by fax or phone.

“The proposed solution will eliminate manual processes and reduce costs for eRx Network pharmacy clients,” said Tom Dorsett, president of healthcare solutions for Vemics.  “In addition, it will eliminate multiple manual processes for the physician office and take them a step closer to adoption of more profitable e-prescribing technology.”

“This relationship will move physicians quicker to electronic prescribing and help the pharmacy by eliminating the need to data-enter refill responses,” said Murray Lyle, president and chief operating officer of eRx Network. “There is significant room for growth and expansion as this partnership evolves.” eRx Network currently has more than 200,000 active physician subscribers utilizing the network for carrying e-prescribing transactions and prescription refill requests.

The iMedicor portal, which went live on Oct. 10, is the health industry’s first free, HIPAA-compliant online personal health data exchange and secure messaging portal for physician collaboration, community and referrals.  The portal’s proprietary HIPAA-compliant technology and ability to enable health providers to exchange medical record data, documentation and images are what distinguishes it from the chat-room-style portals for doctors currently in existence.

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