PHARMACY

NACDS concerned with TRICARE provisions in NDAA

BY David Salazar

ARLINGTON, Va. — Earlier this week, Congress released its Conference Report on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes spending for the U.S. Dept. of Defense, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores president Steve Anderson has concerns about the bill’s provisions regarding TRICARE.

According to Anderson, the bill contains language that limits pharmacy access and choice for TRICARE beneficiaries — a move that contradicts the DoD’s Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission and lawmaker recommendations. In particular, there are concerns about the bill’s language calling for annual copay revisions starting in 2016. Additionally, Anderson notes the absence of a pilot program that would benefit TRICARE patients.

“We have remained highly engaged in efforts to preserve pharmacy access and choice for TRICARE patients over the years, including consistent advocacy efforts with lawmakers,” Anderson said. “Key to that effort is testing the concept of making available to retail pharmacies the same medication acquisition cost rates enjoyed by mail order and military treatment facilities. The conference agreement omits the pilot program, which would have explored this important concept. We remain committed to seeking the pilot for this program so that we can guarantee that TRICARE beneficiaries get the access to quality care they not only need but deserve.”

Anderson said that the importance of the pilot program and allowing more choice and access for TRICARE patients is about ensuring they have appropriate care.

“Local retail pharmacies provide convenience and value for patients, and it’s unclear why policies are not matching up with opportunities for TRICARE patients to benefit from the services of their local, trusted pharmacists,” he said. “Threatening beneficiary access to prescription medications and their preferred healthcare provider will only increase the use of more costly medical interventions, such as physician and emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”

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PHARMACY

Sanofi launches generic Arava through Winthrop

BY David Salazar

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Sanofi announced Thursday that it had launched its generic of Arava (lefluniomide) tablets through its U.S. generics division Winthrop.

Leflunomide is indicated to increase mobility among rheumatoid arthritis patients by reducing inflammation and will be available form Winthrop in 10- and 20-mg tablets.

“The Arava authorized generic assures patients that they receive the same quality treatment of the original drug,” Sanofi’s VP general therapeutics and life cycle management Dr. Cary Yonce said. “We are committed to making authorized generics like Arava available and affordable to patients who need them.”

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Teva moves into top emerging market with Rimsa acquisition

BY David Salazar

JERUSALEM — Teva announced Thursday that it would be acquiring Mexican pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor Representaciones e Investigaciones Médica SA (Rimsa). The $2.3 transaction will move Teva into Latin America’s second largest market and one of the world’s top emerging markets.

Rimsa, which had 2014 revenue of $227 million and has seen year-over-year growth of 10.6% every year since 2011 brings to Teva its portfolio of specialty products, which includes fixed-dose combination pharmaceuticals.

“In addition to this unique portfolio of patent-protected products, Rimsa differentiates itself as a leading provider of branded specialty drugs, including fixed-dose combinations, which increase adherence and reduce overall costs to patients," Teva Global Generic Medicines CEO Siggi Olafsson said. "We will build on their brand reputation, successful sales force model, well-established commercial footprint and loyal customer base to introduce additional specialty and generic Teva medicines to patients in Mexico and across the region”

The acquisition, which will be covered by Teva’s cash on hand and lines of credit, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, and Teva expects it to be accretive to the company’s earnings by the first quarter of 2017.

“For 45 years, Rimsa has operated as a leading pharmaceutical company in Mexico, the second largest healthcare market in Latin America, with a high growth, unique and diversified business model,” Rimsa CEO Luis Jorge Pérez said. “We share Teva's focus on providing quality healthcare and we are excited to become a part of Teva in meeting the needs of a population of 120 million.”

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