PHARMACY

Former Lilly CFO to head CVS Caremark     

BY DSN STAFF

CVS Health’s pharmacy benefits manager division CVS Caremark has new leadership. The Woonsocket, R.I.-based company named Derica Rice, most recently Eli Lilly’s CFO, to the role of CVS Caremark president, effective March 30.

In his role at CVS Health, Rice will oversee the PBM business, including operations, mail service pharmacy, specialty pharmacy and sales and account management. He also will focus on pushing the PBM’s strategy by maintaining client relationships and developing new business.

“Our PBM clients and the members they serve are asking for innovation, especially around value-based reimbursement models and the role pharmacy can play in improving health outcomes and lowering total health care costs,” CVS Health COO  Jon Roberts said. “We believe Derica is a great addition to our team, and the experience he brings with regard to innovation in these value-based models, in particular, will help us continue to serve our clients’ needs while also developing and delivering innovative solutions and offerings.”

Rice joins the company as CVS Health pursues its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna, and as companies increasingly look to PBM-based solutions to curb rising healthcare spend. Rice had been with Lilly since 1990 when he retired from the CFO post in December 2017. In his 27 years there, he worked his way up the ladder through various finance and operations roles. He was named CFO in 2006.

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PHARMACY

Industry ready to assist on Trump’s opioid plan

BY David Salazar

President Donald Trump shared plans to combat the opioid crisis on Monday in Manchester, N.H., which has been especially hard-hit by the epidemic.

According to the White House, the Administration’s opioid response plan includes efforts to reduce factors fueling the crisis that include illicit supplies, education, combating over-prescribing of opioids and recovery support services. It includes a Safer Prescribing Plan that aims to reduce opioid prescription fills by one-third in the next three years while pushing for reimbursements to be issued with best practices. It also aims to arm first responders with naloxone, expand access to evidence-based addiction treatments nationwide.

“Defeating this epidemic will require the commitment of every state, local, and federal agency. Failure is not an option,” Trump said. “Addiction is not our future. We will liberate our country from this crisis. Never been like this. Hundreds of years — never been like this. And we will raise a drug-free generation of American children.”

Following the president’s speech, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president Steve Anderson commended Trump while reaffirming that pharmacy is poised to play a central role in opioid response efforts.

“NACDS commends President Trump’s leadership, and that of bipartisan members of Congress, in working toward more comprehensive policies to address the opioid abuse epidemic,” Anderson said. “Key elements of President Trump’s plan, and legislative proposals under consideration in Congress, are consistent with NACDS’ policy recommendations. These recommendations are based on pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare delivery.”

Anderson said that NACDS is urging lawmakers to pass policy related to electronic prescribing, limiting initial opioid prescription for acute pain, the creation of a national prescription drug monitoring program and more robust drug disposal efforts.

“Our policy recommendations in these areas build on pharmacy’s long-standing work in the areas of compliance programs; helping to pioneer and advance electronic prescribing; fostering safe prescription drug disposal; patient education; security initiatives; promoting naloxone access; stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics; and more,” Anderson said. “NACDS has valued the opportunity to engage on this issue consistently with the Trump Administration and with bipartisan Congressional leaders. … We look forward to continuing to advocate for policies that will prove effective in improving the health and safety of individuals, of families, and of the communities served by NACDS members.”

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Tris launches promethazine and codeine syrup

BY David Salazar

Tris Pharma has announced the introduction of its promethazine and codeine syrup (promethazine HCl and codeine phosphate oral solution. The product is manufactured at the company’s facility in Monmouth Junction, N.J.

Tris’ promethazine and codeine syrup will be available in 16-oz. bottles in dosage strengths of 6.25 mg and 10 mg per 5-ml oral solution. The drug is indicated for temporary relief of coughs and uppers respiratory system associated with allergies or the common cold in patients 18 years of age and older. The drug’s market size was for the 12 months ended December 2017 was roughly $8 million, according to IQVIA data.

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