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McKesson names EVP corporate strategy, begins search for U.S. Pharmaceutical president

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson on Thursday announced that Brian Tyler has been appointed EVP corporate strategy and business development, effective immediately. Tyler succeeds Marc Owen, who joined McKesson Specialty Health as president earlier this year. Tyler will remain president of McKesson’s U.S. Pharmaceutical business while the company searches for his successor.

“With his deep understanding of the healthcare industry and relationships in the manufacturer, physician, hospital, and pharmacy markets, Brian Tyler is exceptionally qualified to lead our corporate strategy and business development team,” stated John Hammergren, chairman and CEO, McKesson Corporation. “His experience as president of McKesson’s U.S. Pharmaceutical, Medical-Surgical and Specialty businesses provides a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing our customers as healthcare reform drives further convergence throughout the industry.”

In his new role, Tyler will guide strategy development with McKesson’s business unit leaders, help foster innovation and source acquisitions that add new growth opportunities for the company.

A 15-year McKesson veteran, Tyler has served as SVP strategy and business development for McKesson Distribution Solutions, with responsibility for strategic planning, joint ventures, alliances and other business development activities for McKesson’s pharmaceutical distribution, medical-surgical, health solutions and retail automation groups. Following his role in strategy and business development, Tyler ran McKesson’s Specialty Care Solutions and Medical-Surgical businesses until assuming his most recent position as president of U.S. Pharmaceutical.

Tyler earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Chicago, Department of Economics in 1994, where he studied under a grant from the National Science Foundation, and earned his B.A. in economics with high honors from University of California Santa Cruz in 1989. He has served on the Board of Directors of Patterson Companies since 2009.
 

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Thrifty White announces introduction of the Rx Timer Cap

BY Antoinette Alexander

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Thrifty White Pharmacy — which operates more than 80 locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Montana and Wisconsin — has announced the introduction of the Rx Timer Cap, which it is giving away for free to each pharmacy patient who enrolls in the Ready Refill or Medication Synchronization programs. Additional Rx Timer Caps may be purchased at any Thrifty White location.

The Rx Timer Cap is a patented smart cap with a built-in LCD timer that fits the same standard vials used in pharmacies across the country. The Rx Timer Cap fits on the original prescription bottle, replacing the standard cap with one incorporating a digital LCD readout. The technology behind the display works like a stopwatch counting up the hours and minutes since the container was last opened to tell patients exactly how long it has been since their last dose.

Unlike medication reminders and medication alerts, Rx Timer Cap activation is automatic and foolproof since there are no alarms to program, no buttons to press and no instructions to read. The mere act of opening and closing the container resets the patented pill timer.

Thrifty White is working to “moving the needle” on medication adherence with strategies that leverage pharmacist counseling with innovative pharmacy programs. Thrifty White’s Ready Refill, Medication Synchronization, HealthyPackRx and simple cost-effective tools, including the Rx Timer Cap, engage patients in their care and give them ongoing daily feedback on how they are doing.

Studies have shown that less than one-half of all Americans take medications as prescribed by their physicians. Failure to take medication as prescribed can cause serious complications and result in unnecessary emergency room visits, hospital admissions and even premature death.

There are many factors than can contribute to poor medication adherence, but in a 2005 Harris poll, the most common factor cited was forgetfulness, which is especially common with medications for asymptomatic conditions.
Many people are so busy that they may either forget to take their medication or remember if they have taken them. By automatically keeping track of the interval between doses, the Rx Timer Cap increases adherence and provides daily feedback to patients, making it much easier to take medications as prescribed, the company stated.

Nearly 25% of caregivers report problems with medication management. The Rx Timer Cap lets patients and caregivers know exactly how long it has been since they took their last dose, preventing medication overdose and increasing safety by alerting patients when someone else has opened their medication.

In an independent study conducted with the cholesterol-lowering drug Niaspan, 10,000 patients were split into two groups. The test group was given medication in containers with the Rx Timer Cap and the control group received their medication in containers with a standard cap. Over a 90-day period, patients in the test group with the Rx Timer Cap experienced a 33.9% increase in compliance with dosage instructions, the retailer stated.

 

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FDA releases GDUFA draft guidance

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has released draft guidance for the Generic Drug User Fee Amendments to the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, the agency said.

A collection of documents posted on the FDA’s website includes guidance for the generic drug industry on self-identification of generic drug facilities, sites and organizations, questions and answers about the draft guidance and others.

The amendments, part of the renewal of PDUFA that president Barack Obama signed in July, will $299 million per year in user fees from generic drug companies over the next five years starting on Oct. 1. This, drug makers and agency officials hope, will help the FDA reduce a backlog of about 2,500 generic drug approval applications and ensure faster review of future applications.


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