PHARMACY

PhRMA selects next president, CEO

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America on Friday named Stephen Ubl as the next president and CEO of the association. Ubl joins PhRMA after more than 10 years as the president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association. He succeeds John Castellani who announced earlier this year that he will be retiring at the end of the year.
 
Ubl is a recognized leader in health care advocacy and public policy. During his tenure at AdvaMed, important reforms were passed related to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration review process and Medicare’s coverage and reimbursement of medical technologies. He is routinely named as one of Washington’s most effective advocates by Washington political publications and has appeared on Modern Healthcare’s list of 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. 
 
“Steve’s extensive experience, depth of knowledge and patient-centered approach to advocacy will serve him well in leading the association at a time when our industry is bringing tremendous medical innovation to patients, the health care system and society,” stated Kenneth Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck and chairman of the PhRMA board of directors.
 
Ubl has a track record of working collaboratively with a broad array of health care stakeholders, including patient advocacy organizations, providers and public and private payers. He was a longstanding board member of the National Health Council, a leading umbrella organization for voluntary health care organizations, and has been personally involved with JDRF and LUNGevity, the largest national lung cancer-focused nonprofit.
 
“This is an exciting time to be joining the biopharmaceutical industry as new medicines are coming to the market that are completely transforming care for patients fighting cancer, heart disease, hepatitis C and other debilitating diseases,” Ubl said. “I look forward to working with PhRMA member companies and the broader health care advocacy community to advance public policies that will improve patients’ access to medicines and foster the continued development of new treatments and cures for patients.” 
 
Ubl first joined AdvaMed in 1998 as EVP federal government relations. He left the organization in 2004 to open his own health care consulting firm, serving top health care companies. In July 2005, Ubl was chosen to lead AdvaMed as president and CEO. Prior to AdvaMed, Ubl was VP legislation for the Federation of American Hospitals. Ubl began his Washington career on Capitol Hill, where he worked for U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
 
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PHARMACY

Mylan launches generic Invega

BY David Salazar

PITTSBURGH — Mylan on Monday announced that it had launched its generic version of Janseen’s Invega (paliperidone) extended-release  tablets following final Food and Drug Administration approval.

The tablets will be sold in 1.5-, 3-, 6- and 9-mg dosage strengths. Paliperidone is meant to treat patients with schizophrenia in adults and adolescents (12-17 years of age) and schizoaffectifve disorder.

Invega sales for the 12 months ended June 30 were $606.2 million. 

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NACDS letter to the editor: Pharmacists can help improve medication adherence

BY DSN STAFF

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Friday released a response to a Sept. 5 article in The Washington Post about efforts to improve medication adherence through research and patient-focused strategies.

In its letter to the editor, NACDS stated:

“[The article] ’Researchers are trying again to help you take your medicine’ hit the nail on the head about the importance of patients taking their medication as prescribed. Researchers interviewed for the article indicate that medication adherence will not improve 'if patients don't develop the habit of sticking to their medication regimens.'

"But there is a solution.

"Pending bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate — S. 776, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2015 — would improve access to medication therapy management services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program. Medicare Part D patients with specific chronic conditions — diabetes, cardiovascular disease, COPD and high cholesterol — would benefit from the education and training of pharmacists and other qualified health practitioners to help ensure that medications are taken appropriately.

"There is overwhelming support and research — including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Congressional Budget Office — showing that filling prescription medications and taking them as prescribed improves medication adherence, resulting in better health outcomes and reduced overall medical costs.

"Continued nonadherence will only generate greater health risks for patients with chronic conditions. This commonsense legislation is key to improving medication adherence and health for these patients."

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