PHARMACY

Mylan, Banner settle cancer drug lawsuit with Eisai, Valeant

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan and a partnering company will be able to sell a generic version of a cancer drug starting in summer 2015, under a court settlement announced Tuesday.

Mylan said that it and Banner Pharmacaps had reached a settlement agreement with Eisai and a subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to resolve a lawsuit filed over their generic version of Targretin (bexarotene) capsules in the 75-mg strength. The drug is used to treat certain forms of T-cell lymphoma.

Under the agreement, Mylan and Banner can start selling a generic version of Targretin starting in July 2015. Targretin in the 75-mg strength had sales of about $53.6 million during the 12-month period that ended in September, according to IMS Health.

 

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NCPA: CMS policy change — pharmacies to affirmatively obtain consent from a beneficiary prior to shipping

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Nearly 1,200 seniors have complained to Medicare this year about a litany of problems with mail-order pharmacies, including shipping unneeded medication and going without medication due to delayed shipments, the National Community Pharmacists Association noted Tuesday citing documentation recently released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, CMS will require Medicare Part D prescription drug plans to ensure that their contracted pharmacies affirmatively obtain consent from a beneficiary prior to shipping or delivering a new or refill prescription. The change comes in response to CMS receiving complaints from patients and cases documented by NCPA of individuals turning unused or expired medication into community pharmacies for disposal. 

“We commend Medicare officials for acknowledging mail-order waste and for responding to the concerns of patients and community pharmacists by implementing this new policy,” stated NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. “The complaints chronicled by CMS speak for many patients and underscore the fact that mail order is not for everyone. Patients deserve a choice to opt for the pharmacy provider that best meets their individual healthcare needs," he said. 

“Community pharmacists often hear firsthand about patients’ unfortunate experiences with mail order,” Hoey added. “Most of these problems cited by seniors are avoidable in community pharmacies where a patient talks to a healthcare provider face-to-face. … Community pharmacists intervene so patients don’t go days or weeks without their medication.”

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Price Chopper, CDPHP partner to provide health screenings

BY Ryan Chavis

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Price Chopper Supermarkets and CDPHP have joined forces to provide community access to health services and screenings at new health stations, which are located in six Price Chopper locations in Upstate New York.

The stations will provide free blood pressure, weight, heart rate, and blood oxygen and temperature readings. Additionally, patients will have the opportunity to create a Personal Health Assessment that can be printed at the station or at PriceChopper.com.

“These health stations will provide our members unique access to benefits and services at a time and place that’s convenient for them,” Dr. John Bennett, president and CEO, CDPHP said. “As we enter a new era in health care, we are thrilled to partner with Price Chopper Supermarkets, an organization that shares our commitment to community wellness.”

Price Chopper and CDPHP partner on other initiatives, like medication therapy management and immunizations services.

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