PHARMACY

Omicare splits business into long-term care, specialty care groups

BY Alaric DeArment

COVINGTON, Ky. A company that provides pharmaceutical care for the elderly is splitting its pharmacy services business into two divisions, hoping to make its services more effective and focused on customers.

 

Omnicare announced Wednesday the reorganization of its business into a long-term care group and a specialty care group. “This reorganization is part of our efforts to become a stronger operating company,” interim president and CEO James Shelton said. “We believe these structural changes will allow us to improve the customer experience and maximize growth opportunities through better coordination across the organization.”

 

 

The company’s specialty care group will comprise its specialty pharmacy and specialty pharmaceutical service businesses, hospice pharmacy, pharmaceutical case management and others. Nitin Sahney, who has headed Omnicare’s RxCrossroads business and previously managed a healthcare investment fund, will lead the group as president.

 

 

Omnicare SVP pharmacy operations Jeffrey Stamps will lead the long-term care business as EVP and president of long-term care operations.

 

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PHARMACY

Report: Government officials question FDA’s approval of generic Lovenox

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Government officials said problems have arisen with the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a generic blood-thinning drug due to its previous relationship with the generic drug’s manufacturer, according to published reports.

 

According to The Wall Street Journal, a congressional committee was planning to release a report Tuesday showing that the FDA created the appearance of compromised integrity in its review and approval of an applicaton for a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis’ Lovenox (enoxaparin) submitted by Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Sandoz because Momenta had provided free consulting work in 2008 while the agency was investigating contaminated supplies of the blood thinner heparin imported from China. Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis, is co-marketing the generic version of Lovenox with Momenta.

 

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IMS Health executive: Generic competition can help U.S. save billions

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Loss of patent protection for branded drugs and subsequent competition from generics could save the U.S. healthcare system $70 billion or more over the next four years, according to published reports.

 

Reuters reported IMS Health SVP Murray Aitken as saying at the Reuters Health Summit that generics also would increase their dominance in terms of prescriptions dispensed, increasing from 77% during the first half of this year to perhaps 85% by 2014.

 

 

Anumber of blockbuster drugs are expected to lose patent protection and face generic competition in the years to come, notably Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) –– the world’s top-selling drug, with more than $7 billion in sales in the United States alone, according to IMS –– which will lose protection next year and face generic competition from Ranbaxy Labs.

 

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