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Ralph Neas delivers remarks at GPhA-FDA Fall Technical Conference

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Though his term as Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO began four weeks ago, Ralph Neas made his big debut Tuesday as he delivered his remarks at the GPhA-Food and Drug Administration Fall Technical Conference.

Neas — who most recently served as president and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care and has long worked for various civil rights organizations — spoke of the growth of generic drugs over the years, noting that they account for 78% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States despite consuming 25% of total drug spending. He also noted a recent analysis by IMS Health that showed the use of generic drugs saved consumers, patients and the U.S. healthcare system $931 billion over the past decade.

"These are incredible savings for the system and something each of us can share pride in helping to achieve," Neas said. "But we should not lose sight of what this means for individuals … to folks like you and me."

Click here to read the Neas’ full speech.


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NCPA offers Senate tips for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste, abuse

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association is recommending several ways for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste and abuse to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee, the group said Tuesday.

"NCPA and its members remain committed to combating waste, fraud and abuse within federal health care programs, and stand at the ready to assist with these efforts," comments submitted by the group read. "It is important for Congress to also focus on the existing waste within and potential savings from how pharmacy benefit managers operate in the Medicare Part D program. In the end, NCPA seeks to partner with the federal government in the right way to generate healthcare savings, while providing high quality health care to our patients."

Recommendations included: ensuring that requirements to use National Provider Identifier numbers on Part D claims provide for an adequate transition to avoid inadvertently penalizing pharmacies acting in good faith to serve patients; ensuring the government receives billions of dollars in manufacturer rebate savings currently retained by PBMs; promoting the appropriate use of generic prescription drugs; and requiring Part D plans to implement consistent pharmacy audit practices to strengthen fraud protections and focus on true fraud.


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Report: Lupin stands to benefit from drug patent expiries

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A wave of patent expirations over the next several years will open up a broad swath of drugs to generic competition, and India’s Lupin Pharmaceuticals is looking to benefit, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Mumbai-based company planned to launch 25 to 30 new generic drugs each year over the next couple of years.

These include contraceptives, as well as antipsychotics and diabetes drugs, according to the article. In September alone, the company received Food and Drug Administration approval for generic versions of Watson’s contraceptive NOR-QD (norethindrone) tablets and launched versions of UCB’s epilepsy drug Keppra (levetiracetam) and Shionogi’s painkiller Ponstel (mefenamic acid).


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