PHARMACY

Mylan acquires Indian injectables maker

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan has bought a manufacturer of generic injectables for $1.6 billion, the company said.

Mylan announced the acquisition of Bangalore, India-based Agila from Strides Arcolab, which Mylan said would allow it to strengthen its injectables business and enter new markets around the world.

"The addition of Agila to our existing injectables platform will immediately create a new, powerful global leader in this fast-growing attractive market segment and accelerate our target of becoming a top-three global player in injectables," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said. "Further, the acquisition of this unique asset delivers on several of Mylan’s strategic growth drivers by further expanding and diversifying our product portfolio and geographic reach, strengthening our presence in the institutional channel and positioning us to maximize our generic biologics portfolio."

 

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Prescribers continue to show preference for paper prescription pads despite e-prescribing advances, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. — Despite all the promises of e-prescribing, in the land of the newfangled, the old-fashioned still reigns supreme, according to a new study.

The study, by point-of-prescription advertising company MediScripts, found that handwritten prescriptions continued to outpace e-prescribing by more than 60% in 2012. The company said the high volume of MediScripts prescription pad use demonstrated continued physician preference for pen and paper, but use of electronic medical record software has shown increased uptake.

"More than 50% of U.S.-based physicians utilize e-prescribing technology, yet data show that among physicians, a majority also are writing prescriptions on a pad," MediScripts CEO Erez Lapsker said. "Prescribers are considering e-prescribing systems, which are rapidly adapting to meet their needs, but until physicians gain comfort with the technology, many will continue to depend on time-trusted, easy-to-use pen and paper."

The company noted that e-prescribing is an important development, but e-prescribing modules are not functionally perfected and don’t offer the ability to prescribe all medications. Prescribers, it said, need to prioritize their time, and prescription pads allow them to quickly write a prescription and dosage without having to fuss with complicated computer software.

 

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NCPA supports Kentucky Senate bill for transparency of MAC pricing

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday applauded the Kentucky Senate for voting to pass S.B. 107, a bill that will provide transparency regarding how pharmacy reimbursements are determined for multiple source generic drugs, and establish an appeals process when a dispute arises over those payment levels. 

“Pharmacists made the business case in presenting their argument to the Senate for transparency in how MAC prices are set," commented Robert McFalls, executive director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association. "Now, we will turn our efforts to the House, which also is very supportive of issues affecting community pharmacies, to get this legislation passed and enacted as quickly as possible." 

“As we stated in our letter to the Kentucky Senate before it approved this common-sense reform, the MAC process is analogous to a carpenter contracting to build a house for a customer without knowing how much they will be paid, how much their materials will ultimately cost, or how or when those costs will change," stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "Obviously that’s no way to run a business, but that’s the system PBMs force upon pharmacies, and that must change.”

NCPA urged the Kentucky House to pass similar legislation that NCPA has supported in previous legislative sessions.

Kentucky’s 507 independent community pharmacies employ approximately 5,300 people, and are most affected by the current MAC process, NCPA noted. "These small business health care providers receive 90% of their revenue from prescription drugs, and 80% of that mix is generic, most of which are subject to the MAC lists," the association stated. 

S.B. 107 would create a set of standards with relation to categorizations and formularies for how PBMs craft their MAC lists, require more frequent updates, and streamline the process for pharmacy reimbursement appeals.

 

 

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