New Alabama Rx card program offers nationwide prescription benefits to state residents
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. The Alabama Rx Card Program will now provide “free” discount prescription drug cards to the residents of Alabama, according to reports.
The card can be used at more than 50,000 pharmacies across the country to receive savings of up to 75 percent (savings average around 30 percent).
Participating pharmacies include: Bruno’s, Food World, Food Max, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Winn-Dixie, Kmart, Publix and thousands of independent pharmacies.
Although the Alabama Rx Card is designed to help the uninsured and underinsured people of Alabama afford their prescription medications, residents who have health insurance coverage with no prescription benefits can also use the card.
Additionally, people who have prescription coverage can use this program for drugs not covered by their insurance. This program even covers some pet medications (those available at the participating pharmacies).
UNA Rx Card powers the Alabama Rx Card Program, which is a division of United Networks of America. Programs have also been launched in 14 other states, including New York, Texas and the Carolinas. UNA Rx Card is considered the fastest growing discount prescription card company in the United States, reported Birmingham’s Dothan Eagle.
Cephalon submits application to FDA for supplemental uses of Fentora
FRAZER, Pa. Cephalon has submitted a supplemental application to the Food and Drug Administration to market its cancer drug Fentora as a “breakthrough pain” drug that would treat chronic pain conditions that could include lower back and neuropathic pain, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Breakthrough pain is characterized as pain that is rapid on its onset and moderate-to-severe in intensity and relatively short in duration. If the application is approved, Fentora would also be indicated for breakthrough pain in chronic pain conditions experienced by opiod-tolerant patients.
In September, the FDA and Cephalon issued warnings to patients and doctors alerting them of the potential fatal risk factors associated with improper use of Fentora in such cases as patients using them to treat migraines or other types of short-term pain. Cephalon is also working with the FDA to update the package insert of the drug to include revised patient selection criteria and dosing instructions.
Reverse-payment bill held up in Congress by pharmaceutical lobbying
WASHINGTON Legislation aimed at speeding up the availability of cheaper generic drugs has stalled in Congress due to major lobbying by the drug industry, according to the Associated Press.
The Senate bill would ban most reverse payments, which occur when a brand-name company pays a generic manufacturer to delay the introduction of a drug.
An Associated Press review of lobbying reports, from July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007, found that $38.8 million was spent by at least a dozen generic and brand-name companies and their trade associations on issues including the Senate legislation.
More than half of those expenses were piled up by the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, which represents brand-name drug companies. PhRMA spent $19.5 million in the 12-month period ended June 30 on in-house lobbying expenses, an increase of about $3 million over the previous 12-month period.
And the Generic Pharmaceutical Association reported lobbying expenses of around $420,000 for the first six months of this year. The remaining $19 million was spent by a variety of drug companies, including Bayer, Schering-Plough, Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
“Lobbyists have a lot of influence in Washington,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., who chairs the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights. “If we can just get this to a vote, it will be pretty hard for people to vote against it. A vote against this is a vote against consumers.”