PHARMACY

New York State awards medical grants to I.T. projects

BY Drew Buono

ALBANY, N.Y. New York Gov. David Paterson and State Health Commissioner Richard Daines have awarded $105 million in medical technology grants to 19 leading community-based health information technology projects, according to published reports.

“Electronic health records will begin to repair our fragmented delivery system by making sure that accurate patient information is quickly available so that we can improve health care quality and efficiency,” said Paterson. “Electronic health records represent a cornerstone in the transformation of our health care system. They will boost our efforts to improve the delivery of preventative care while maintaining appropriate safeguards to protect patient privacy.”

The projects selected the following goals to guide the technical implementation ensuring that clinicians gain upfront, consistent value from health information, including:

  • Medicaid: Linking Medicaid data to interoperable electronic health records so that clinicians may electronically receive a patient’s Medicaid-reimbursed prescriptions, Medicaid eligibility and recertification period, as well as Medicaid’s preferred drugs.
  • Public Health: Linking electronic health records to the New York State Immunization Registry to ensure seamless reporting of immunization records to improve children’s health.
  • Patients: Helping New Yorkers have greater control over and access to their personal health information by connecting patients and clinicians through personal health records and other patient-focused tools.
  • Quality of Care: Implementing quality measurement and reporting capabilities, which includes shared infrastructure among payers and providers to collect and assess information about performance and outcomes to support new prevention and outcome-based reimbursement models.

Grants range from $1 million to $10 million each.

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Arcadia funds DailyMed with $5 million debt facility

BY Antoinette Alexander

INDIANPOLIS Arcadia Resources, a provider of consumer health services doing business under the trade name of Arcadia HealthCare, has obtained a new $5 million debt facility to fund the growth of DailyMed and its related pharmacy fulfillment strategy.

DailyMed, which launched April 2006, is a retail drug packaging solution that pre-sorts multiple prescriptions, OTC medications and vitamins into easy-to-use single-dose packets.

“The financing will provide Arcadia with the cash to fund DailyMed and our related pharmacy fulfillment strategy and the working capital needs associated with the pharmacy business growth anticipated during our fiscal year beginning April 1, 2008,” stated Marvin Richardson, president and chief executive officer. “This deal represents an important first step towards executing our fiscal 2009 growth strategy and is significant in that the majority of debt will be used to grow our DailyMed business rather than meet core operating cash obligations.”

The facility matures on Oct. 31, 2009, bears interest at an annual rate of 10 percent and is secured by certain company assets.

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FDA approves Sun’s generic Tessalon

BY Adam Kraemer

WASHINGTON Sun has received FDA approval for a generic version of Forest Laboratories’ Tessalon capsules, a treatment for coughs due to the common cold, pneumonia and other lung infections.

The company, a week ago, also announced it had received FDA approval for its generic version of Pfizer’s Cerebyx (fosphenytoin sodium), an injectable anticonvulsant that has annual U.S. sales of approximately $15 million.

Brand and generic Tessalon (benzonatate) have annual U.S. sales of approximately $40 million, according to Sun.

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