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McKesson Specialty Health’s OncologyRx Care Advantage obtains $40 million in patient aid

BY Michael Johnsen

THE WOODLANDS, Texas — OncologyRx Care Advantage, McKesson Specialty Health’s oral oncology products specialty pharmacy, on Monday announced that they have assisted under-insured patients in obtaining $40 million in financial assistance by helping them access financial assistance programs.

“Without this financial support, most of these patients simply would not be able to obtain the medication they need to continue treatment," said Larry Whisenant, director of Specialty Pharmacy Operations, OncologyRx Care Advantage. 

By working directly with various charitable foundations, the Care Advantage patient advocate team has obtained drug co-pay assistance for nearly 9,000 cancer patients over the last seven years. “Care Advantage has a strong focus and commitment to oncology and cancer patients that go beyond dispensing medications,” said John Helfrich, director of business development, OncologyRx Care Advantage. “We want to do everything we can to help patients adhere to their therapy and get the support they need if they can’t afford to pay for their medications on their own.”

Care Advantage Specialty Pharmacy provides patients with convenient home delivery of oral therapies and additional support for the safe use of these oral medications. The pharmacy’s team of specialists — including pharmacists, oncology certified nurses and patient advocates — provides patient support that includes proactive monitoring of compliance; supporting adherence through education, which can help with side effect management; and seeking access for co-pay assistance through various cancer foundations.

 

 

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Rite Aid begins 20th year of partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — With its 2014 Miracle Balloon campaign now underway in stores nationwide, Rite Aid begins its 20th year of partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the company announced Monday. Since becoming a partner in 1994, Rite Aid associates have helped raise more than $64 million for the organization.

From now through Saturday, May 24, Rite Aid associates at stores nationwide will invite customers to purchase a $1 paper Miracle Balloon. In appreciation, customers who purchase a Miracle Balloon will receive $9 in coupon offers good for a variety of popular products sold at Rite Aid.

Also during the campaign, Rite Aid associates put their passion, spirit and creativity to work and conduct special fundraisers throughout the year, including golf tournaments, motorcycle rides, beauty pageants and bake sales. Rite Aid’s management team helps raise funds by dedicating a day each summer to washing cars and competing in various activities at the company’s headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa.

“Last year, our company raised a record-breaking $6.8 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the communities we serve,” said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid president, COO and president of The Rite Aid Foundation. “Everyone at Rite Aid is extremely proud of our 20 year partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and I look forward to seeing our associates do all that they can to ensure our 20th campaign is one to remember."

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Boehringer Ingelheim gets FDA nod for Pradaxa

BY Ryan Chavis

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate). The drug is indicated for the treatment of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in patients who have received a parenteral anticoagulant for five to 10 days, and to reduce the risk of recurrent DVT and PE in patients who have been previously treated, the company said.

It’s estimated that there are 900,000 DVT and PE events per year in the United States, one-third of which result in death from PE. Collectively, DVT and PE are referred to as venous thromboembolism (VTE).

"Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cardiovascular disease after myocardial infarction and stroke. About one-third of patients with a DVT or PE will suffer a recurrence within 10 years," said Samuel Z. Goldhaber, M.D., director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Thrombosis Research Group and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Dabigatran has established efficacy and safety for stroke risk reduction in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. This new FDA approval expands dabigatran’s indications to include treatment and the reduction of the risk of recurrence of DVT and PE."

A DVT happens when a blood clot blocks the normal flow of blood through a vein — usually located in the leg or pelvis — which can lead to swelling or pain. A PE occurs when a DVT (or part of it) breaks off and makes its way through the bloodstream to the lungs, blocking a vessel in the process.

"Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening. Boehringer Ingelheim is pleased that patients will now have a new and efficacious therapeutic option for this complex condition," said Sabine Luik, M.D., SVP medicine and regulatoryaffairs, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. "This approval is a testament to our commitment to evaluate Pradaxa in new areas of cardiovascular treatment in order to address evolving patient needs."

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