PHARMACY

PBM tools slowed Rx spending growth in 2010

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Pharmacy benefit management tools helped slow prescription drug spending growth from 5.3% in 2009 to 3.5% in 2010, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

One PBM tool that helped was tiered co-pays that shifted medication use toward lower-cost generic drugs.

“This new research confirms that innovative PBM tools — including incentivizing the use of generic medications — lower costs for consumers and payers,” said Mark Merritt, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group for PBMs. “Payers and policy-makers alike should explore greater use of PBMs’ cost-saving tools and reject policies that make it harder to reduce prescription drug costs.”

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Hi-Tech Pharmacal introduces generic Levaquin

BY DSN STAFF

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. — A generic version of a popular pneumonia treatment has entered the market from Hi-Tech Pharmacal.

Hi-Tech Pharmacal has introduced levofloxacin oral solution in the 25-mg/mL strength. The drug will be available in 480-mL, 200-mL and 100-mL sizes in order to allow pharmacists to tailor inventory to store volume. As previously reported by Drug Store News, Hi-Tech Pharmacal was granted tentative approval for the drug in April.

Levofloxacin oral solution is a generic version of Levaquin, which is produced by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

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FDA to Eisai: Redo application for perampanel

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has asked Eisai to redo its regulatory application for a drug to treat epilepsy, Eisai said Friday.

The drug maker said the FDA issued a refusal to file letter in response to its application for perampanel, designed to treat partial-onset seizures in patients with epilepsy. In the letter, the FDA requested reformatting and reanalyses of some datasets, though Eisai said new studies probably were unnecessary.

Eisai said it would work with the FDA to provide the information requested so that it can resubmit the application.

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