PHARMACY

Medisafe, GoodRx partner to encourage medication adherence

BY DSN STAFF

BOSTON — Medisafe, a mobile health platform for medication management, on Tuesday announced its partnership with GoodRx, a prescription price comparison platform.

GoodRx and Medisafe aim to help consumers save on prescriptions by integrating the former’s database of prescription prices and discounts with the latter’s medication management app.

“We are making it easier than ever for the 70% of Americans who regularly take a prescription drug to adhere to their medication schedules,” Doug Hirsch, co-founder and co-CEO of GoodRx, said.

The rising cost of medications is linked with non-adherence, according to Medisafe.

"Higher copays and coinsurance rates from public health exchanges and private insurers are putting a heavy financial burden on consumers,” Jon Michaeli, EVP of marketing and business development for Medisafe, said. “That's not healthy for them, and it's not healthy for our healthcare system overall. Numerous studies have linked higher medication costs to lower adherence. Working with GoodRx, we can reverse this trend with an economic impact of billions of dollars in savings annually."          

One study indicated that patients with chronic conditions decreased their use of medication by up to 23% in reaction to the doubling of copayments, Medisafe said. Because pharmacy benefit managers are growing formulary exclusion lists, patients must decide between alternate medication not prescribed by their doctor and opting out of treatment.

Patients are also seeing medication itself rising in cost. Half of all generic drugs increased in price from August 2013 to August 2014, and 24% of Americans have difficulty paying for prescriptions, according to Medisafe.

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PHARMACY

Cipla to acquire InvaGen, Exelan

BY David Salazar

MUMBAI, India — Cipla is continuing to expand its U.S. footprint as the company announced Tuesday that it would be acquiring generic drug companies InvaGen Pharmaceuticals and Exelan Pharmaceuticals in a $500 million, all-cash transaction. The acquisitions will bring InvaGen’s 32 products and 40 approved abbreviated new drug applications, as well as Exelan’s management team and institutional market under the company’s control. 

“We are delighted with the immediate and substantial relevance this combination brings to Cipla in the USA,”Cipla USA director and North America CEO Tim Crew said. “We are committed to an orderly transition process with customers and InvaGen to ensure the on-going continuity of a high quality and reliable supply to our customers and their patients” 

The acquisition also gives the India-based company a larger generics footprint in the American market, as Cipla USA launched its own label products in January.

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Vernalis launches 12-hour Tuzistra XR

BY David Salazar

BERWYN, Pa. — Vernalis Therapeutics announced Tuesday that its Tuzistra XR (codeine polistirex and chlorpheniramine polistirex) extended release syrup has been made available ahead of cold and flu season. The 12-hour dosage strength syrup is meant to treat coughs from the cold or upper respiratory allergies in adults 18 years of age and older.

“The launch of Tuzistra XR marks a significant milestone for Vernalis Therapeutics and demonstrates our capability to build a broad portfolio of unique, long-acting, liquid formulations of branded prescription cough cold products in the U.S. market,” Vernalis Therapeutics SVP commercial operations Tom Parker said. “We are pleased to offer physicians and patients a proprietary Schedule III, 12-hour, codeine and chlorpheniramine combination liquid product to help manage cough and cold symptoms in advance of this year's cough cold season.”

The 12-hour formula has its advantages for prescribers and patients, the company said.

“Until now, physicians looking to prescribe a codeine-containing antitussive have been limited to short-acting medications," Dr. Pascal Borderies, Vernalis Therapeutics SVP medical affairs said. “Tuzistra XR's extended-release liquid delivery system allows for less frequent dosing than traditional codeine cough syrups. This makes it a viable option for patients looking to extend the relief of cough and symptoms associated with upper respiratory allergies or the common cold with twice-daily dosing.”

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