PharMerica joins Surescripts network
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Electronic prescribing network Surescripts has certified PharMerica, a chain of specialty infusion and institutional pharmacies that serve long-term care centers, for receiving orders for controlled and non-controlled substances over the Surescripts network.
PharMerica said e-prescribing would substantially reduce the amount of time it takes for patients to receive their medication while streamlining what was previously a manual, paper-based process and also streamline the process of complying with Drug Enforcement Administration policies for dispensing controlled substances in a long-term care setting.
"We are confident that bringing pharmacy industry standards to the long-term care industry will lead to faster rates of adoption," PharMerica CEO Greg Weishar said. "The Surescripts network is convenient, efficient and economical for the physician community."
Electronic prescribing has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, with the majority of retail pharmacies and prescribers set up for it. But due to Drug Enforcement Administration regulations, e-prescribing of controlled substances like opioid painkillers has been slower to take hold, but it is continuing to grow nonetheless. Currently, it is legal in 44 states, according to Surescripts.
Novartis to sell off blood transfusion diagnostics unit
BASEL, Switzerland — Swiss drug maker Novartis is selling its blood transfusion diagnostics business to a Spanish manufacturer for $1.675 billion, Novartis said Monday.
The drug maker said it expected the sale, to Grifols, to be completed in 2014. Novartis bought the Emeryville, Calif.-based unit in 2006 as part of its acquisition of Chiron. Its sales in 2012 were about $565 million. Grifols is headquartered in Barcelona.
"The sale of the Novartis blood transfusion diagnostics unit enables us to focus more sharply on our strategic businesses while providing Grifols with a platform for global expansion," Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said. "I am especially pleased that the agreement with Grifols provides our associates with an opportunity to join a company that will focus on growing this business aggressively."
Shire to buy ViroPharma
DUBLIN — Shire will pay $4.2 billion to buy a drug maker specializing in treatments for rare diseases.
Shire, headquartered in Ireland, said the $50-per-share acquisition of ViroPharma would strengthen its rare disease portfolio. Exton, Pa.-based ViroPharma’s products include the hereditary angioedema drug Cinryze (C1 esterase inhibitor [human]) and Vancocin (vancomycin hydrochloride), used to treat Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.
"The acquisition of ViroPharma will immediately benefit Shire and is entirely consistent with our clear strategic objective of strengthening our rare disease portfolio," Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov said. "It brings us a new growth-driving product which augments our already strong growth prospects."