PHARMACY

Noven appoints new member to board of directors

BY Alaric DeArment

MIAMI A drug maker that develops therapies for bipolar disorder, hot flashes and other conditions and specializes in transdermal drug delivery has appointed a new member to its board of directors.

Noven Pharmaceuticals announced the appointment of Francois Nader, which will take effect May 22, immediately following the company’s annual stockholder meeting.

Nader is currently president and CEO of NPS Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on endocrine and gastrointestinal disorders. Before working for NPS, he was chief medical officer and a venture partner at life sciences venture capital firm Care Capital. Before that, he worked in several positions at Sanofi-Aventis for 14 years.

Nader will replace Sidney Braginsky, who is retiring from the board.

“We thank Sid Braginsky for his years of service and counsel to the company and welcome the scientific and industry insights that Dr. Nader will bring to the Novem board,” Noven board chairman Wayne Yetter said in a statement. “In particular, Francois’ substantial clinical, regulatory and medical expertise across a broad range of therapeutic categories, including women’s health and central nervous system disorders, should help Noven advance its product development pipeline and move closer to its goal of high growth in specialty pharmaceuticals.”

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NACDS, NCPA praise Senate’s inclusion of Medicaid reimbursement relief in healthcare reform proposal

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two organizations have praised the Senate Finance Committee’s inclusion of Medicaid reimbursement relief in its healthcare reform proposals.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association hailed the inclusion of the policy by committee chairman Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

“While this process is only beginning, and legislation is being crafted, we are pleased that chairman Baucus, senator Grassley and Finance Committee members have recognized the implications on patient access that threaten the ability of pharmacies to provide healthcare services to the neediest populations, especially those in rural and inner-city areas with higher percentages of Medicaid patients,” NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson and NCPA executive VP and CEO Bruce Roberts said in a joint statement.

The proposal would increase the percentage of the federal upper limits from 250% to 300% of the weighted average of the most recent average manufacturer prices for pharmaceutically and therapeutically equivalent multiple-source drugs available nationally through commercial pharmacies.

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Pfizer develops free medication program for unemployed Americans

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Amid an economic environment of increasing unemployment, a large drug maker has started a program to offer medicines to unemployed Americans for free.

Pfizer announced the MAINTAIN plan to help eligible unemployed Americans and their families who have lost their health insurance continue receiving Pfizer medicines for free.

“We all know people who have been laid off recently and have lost their health insurance, making it difficult for them to pay for health care,” Pfizer regional president worldwide pharmaceuticals Jorge Puente stated. “We thought there must be some way we could help recently unemployed people who are taking Pfizer medicines to continue treatment during these challenging economic times.”

The program, whose name stands for Medicines Assistance for Those who Are In Need, will be open for enrollment through Dec. 31 for Americans who have become unemployed since Jan. 1, regardless of prior family income.

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