PHARMACY

Mylan hires former Biocon executive to lead Indian marketing division

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan has hired Rakesh Bamzai as its president for commercial and emerging markets in India, the drug maker said Thursday.

Mylan said Bamzai has more than 20 years of experience in the drug industry, having previously served as president of marketing at Biocon.

"We were extremely pleased when Rakesh asked to join our company," Mylan president Rajiv Malik said. "Many of us at Mylan have had a firsthand opportunity to work with Rakesh over the course of our strategic partnership with Biocon and have observed his strong business and marketing acumen, his strategic insight and outstanding leadership skills."

 

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Walmart offers prescriptions for no upfront cost to Obamacare enrollees

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is offering prescriptions at no upfront cost to patients who enroll in the public health insurance marketplace, the mass-merchandise retailer said.

In a New Year’s Eve announcement, the retailer said that through the end of January, it would fill up to a 30-day supply of prescriptions with no upfront cost to customers who have enrolled in the marketplace, but have not yet received their plan identification information from their insurance providers. Pharmacists at the stores will be able to help patients verify enrollment and answer questions about the new insurance plans.

"At Walmart, we are committed to offering our customers affordable ways to stay healthy, including access to their medications," Walmart SVP health and wellness John Agwunobi said. "Customers who have signed up for the public health exchanges should be able to access their benefits immediately."

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act took full effect Wednesday as the new year began. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 2.1 million people have enrolled in a private health insurance plan through the federal and state-based marketplaces, but due to glitches in the marketplaces early on, that’s more than 1 million less than the number that had been expected. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it’s hoped about 7 million people will be enrolled this year.

 

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Eisai launches new epilepsy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Drug maker Eisai will make a new epilepsy drug available in the United States starting on Monday, the company said Thursday.

Fycompa (perampanel) will be available to patients aged 12 and older as an add-on therapy for partial-onset seizures. The drug, which is scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule III controlled substance, received Food and Drug Administration approval in October 2012. The drug’s label carries a boxed warning, the strongest warning a drug can have, due to the risk of serious psychiatric and behavioral side effects.

"The availability of Fycompa gives physicians an important new adjunctive treatment option for the care of those patients whose seizures are not controlled by their current medication," Eisai Product Creation Systems president for neuroscience and general medicine Lynn Kramer said.

 

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