PHARMACY

NACDS Congressional statement urges provider status, MTM

BY Michael Johnsen
ARLINGTON, Va. –  The National Association of Chain Drug Stores issued a statement Wednesday urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health to focus on policies and innovations that will improve healthcare access and foster healthcare-delivery partnerships by supporting provider status legislation. 
 
“The role pharmacists are playing in healthcare delivery continues to expand. In addition to medication adherence services, pharmacists are on the frontline of providing access to health tests, helping patients manage chronic health conditions and expanding immunization services,” stated Steven Anderson,  NACDS president and CEO. “Expanding access to pharmacist services is a key component to reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes.”
 
As part of its commitment to strengthening and improving Medicare, NACDS asked the Subcommittee to support bipartisan legislation — H.R. 592/S. 314, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act — which would increase access to pharmacist-provided services to underserved Medicare beneficiaries, within pharmacists’ scope of practice. 
 
The legislation has been cosponsored by more than 65% of the U.S. House of Representatives and 45% of the U.S. Senate.
 
NACDS also voiced support for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Enhanced Medication Therapy Management Model Pilot, which would improve the Part D MTM program by increasing outreach and targeting strategies, and ensuring services are in line with beneficiaries’ needs. NACDS urged the lawmakers to help ensure the inclusion of retail community pharmacists in the pilot program to enhance its potential for success.
 
Because the CMMI Enhanced MTM Model Pilot will begin in 2017, NACDS asked lawmakers to support S. 776, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2015, which would give MTM access to beneficiaries with chronic conditions in the short term before the pilot is implemented.
 
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Takeda, Ultragenyx partner to develop rare genetic disease treatments

BY David Salazar
NOVATO, Calif. and OSAKA, Japan — Takeda on Tuesday announced a new partnership with Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical to develop and commercialize therapies for rare genetic diseases. 
 
Under the partnership, Ultragenyx will initially receive an exclusive license for one of Takeda’s preclinical product candidates in a pre-determined field of use, along with the option to co-develop and co-commercialize the candidate in other therapeutic areas. Additionally, the two companies have established a five-year research collaboration that will give Ultragenyx the option to license as many as five Takeda product candidates for rare diseases once the companies agree on and conduct initial validation activities under a joint research committee. 
 
“This broad collaboration provides Ultragenyx with a product opportunity that is approaching clinical-stage development as well as a potential continued source of new product candidates that will help us achieve our goal of bringing a new therapy into the clinic every one to two years,” Ultragenyx CEO Emil Kakkis said. “Takeda has an impressive early pipeline of therapies with potential across a number of rare genetic diseases, and we are pleased that Takeda has chosen to partner with us to bring these therapies to patients with rare diseases that have few or no treatment options.”
 
Takeda will have the exclusive option to commercialize any licensed products that are the result of the collaboration in Asia and it will have the option to exclusively license one Ultragenyx pipeline products in Japan. Takeda will invest up to $65 million in Ultragenyx in two tranches, the first of which will be a $25 million stock purchase and $15 million cash premium at closing. Ultragenyx’s option will see a second equity purchase of 25 million with no additional premium. No additional financial details were disclosed. 
 
“Ultragenyx is a rapidly emerging rare disease company, led by a highly experienced and successful management team,” Takeda chief medical and scientific officer Dr. Andrew Plump said. “This partnership provides Takeda access to Ultragenyx's strong patient-centric development and regulatory capabilities in the rare disease space, and could create significant value for both companies by delivering important new therapies to patients.”
 
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DSNTV: Innovation’s Doyle Jensen discusses central fill and the future of pharmacy automation

BY David Salazar

Drug Store News recently caught up with Doyle Jensen, EVP global business development at pharmacy automation company Innovation to talk about the company’s offerings for pharmacies looking to move toward a high-volume central-fill solution.

Jensen also discusses how the company works as a technology partner to move pharmacy automation forward, how it works with retailers to address challenges and the promising future of automation that was on display at Innovation’s and Binghamton University’s Watson Institute for Systems Excellence’s recent symposium.

To read more about the Innovation-BU Wise symposium, click here.

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