PHARMACY

Medco launches specialty benefit management program

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions has launched a medical benefit management program that it said would help control spending on specialty drugs, the company said.

Medco said the program, implemented under a partnership with software developer NovoLogix, would help to better manage specialty drugs covered under major medical plans by bringing greater efficiencies around the coverage of them, while reducing some of the estimated $8 billion in waste incurred each year. The company said medical benefit management would allow it to provide increased cost transparency to health plans and employers that cover specialty drugs under their medical plans. Specialty drugs are medications used to treat complex and chronic health conditions, such as cancers, autoimmune disorders and chronic viral infections.

"We developed this program in order to extend the best practices in specialty pharmacy to major medical coverage," said Frank Sheehy, president of Medco subsidiary Accredo Health Group. "Historically, health insurers and other payers have not focused on the prevention of waste or the management of specialty drugs that fall within the medical benefit."


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PHARMACY

Former pharmaceutical executive takes on new role at Fuse Science

BY Allison Cerra

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. — Fuse Science announced that one of its advisory board members has taken on a new role.

Jeanne Hebert, a 20-year industry veteran, will become VP marketing and clinical research, effectively immediately. Her responsibilities will include advancing product innovation through development and commercialization phases, including work with suppliers on product design and advanced medical prototyping.

Prior to her new role, Hebert worked for such companies as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Merck and Integral Orthopedics.

In addition to Hebert’s appointment, Fuse Science also announced that Julie Zastrow to the management team to lead its grass roots marketing, athlete management and social media efforts. She formerly was VP marketing and merchandising for apparel brand Tapout.

"We are very pleased to have Jeanne & Julie join our team," Fuse Science president and COO Rubin Hanan said. "We are aggressively driving our product commercialization efforts, continued research and athlete strategy for the Powered By Fuse brand. The full-time commitment of Ms. Herbert and Ms. Zastrow to our business brings immediate positive impact and advancement to this strategy."

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Counterfeit Avastin circulating in U.S., FDA warns

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Fake versions of a cancer drug made by Roche’s U.S. unit have entered the United States, the Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.

The FDA advised healthcare professionals and patients that a counterfeit version of Genentech’s Avastin (bevacizumab) had been distributed in the United States. The agency said the counterfeit versions carried Roche’s logo instead of Genentech’s and displayed batch numbers starting with B6010, B6011 or B86017.

The FDA said 19 medical practices in the United States had purchased unapproved cancer medications from a foreign supplier called Quality Specialty Products, also known as Montana Health Care Solutions, while a Gainesboro, Tenn.-based company called Volunteer Distribution was a distributor of QSP’s products. The agency said medical practices that had obtained products from Volunteer Distribution and QSP should stop using them an contact the FDA.

 


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