PHARMACY

NACDS, NCPA urge guidance for states on Medicaid reimbursements

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Two groups representing the retail pharmacy industry are urging the federal government to provide guidance to the states on how to adjust Medicaid dispensing fees to determine pharmacy reimbursement.

Following a meeting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association sent a letter to the agency stressing what they called the importance of providing the guidance promptly, before the government finalizes current draft federal upper limits based on average manufacturer price.

"Addressing pharmacy reimbursement comprehensively, both the cost of the drug product and the cost of dispensing, is critical to maintaining access to pharmacy services for our Medicaid patients," read the letter, signed by representatives of both groups and addressed to Cindy Mann, CMS administrator and director for the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey and Certification.

In addition, NACDS said it was reviewing a rule proposed by CMS on Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement using the AMP model, which the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act redefined. "NACDS is currently reviewing the proposed rule with its members and will provide comments to CMS based on this analysis," NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson said. "However, NACDS has long expressed concerns with using AMP as a basis for pharmacy reimbursements, as it is not a price paid in the marketplace but instead is a benchmark to determine manufacturer rebates in the Medicaid program."

 Click here to read the letter.

Check out the full proposed rule from CMS here.


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PHARMACY

Actavis partners with Poland’s Bioton to develop insulin products

BY Alaric DeArment

WARSAW, Poland — Iceland-based drug maker Actavis and Poland-based Bioton have formed a partnership that they said would "shake up" the diabetes market.

Actavis and Bioton announced the signing of a $73.3 million deal to develop, manufacture and commercialize insulin products, including insulin analogues. Of that, Actavis will pay $29.4 million to Bioton when the deal is signed, while the rest will consist of milestone payments.

Under the deal, Bioton will develop and manufacture the products, while Actavis will commercialize them under its brand in the United States, the European Union, Japan and several non-E.U. European countries. Both companies will sell the drugs under their respective brands in Poland.


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Valeant withdraws acquisition offer for Ista

BY Allison Cerra

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it would not move forward in its pursuit of Ista Pharmaceuticals due to lack of progress.

The drug maker said it withdrew the acquisition offer of Ista, valued at $7.50 per share in cash. Valeant previously said that the offer would remain open until Jan. 31.

"As we stated last December, we were not interested in participating in a lengthy evaluation process and we are disappointed that the Ista team was not willing to fully explore our proposal by Jan. 31," Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "We continue to be disciplined on our [mergers and acquisitions] strategy and we are actively working on other opportunities that we believe can create value for our shareholders. We wish the Ista team well in their future endeavors."

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