PHARMACY

RxHub, PCMA hold symposium on future of e-prescribing

BY Drew Buono

ST. PAUL, Min. Public and private collaborative efforts will accelerate e-prescribing and immediately benefit patients and providers by saving lives, decreasing costs and improving the quality and efficiency of health care. That was the repeated theme of key political and industry stakeholders at the symposium hosted in Washington on Wednesday by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association and RxHub.

Bipartisan support for mandatory e-Prescribing in Medicare Part D was echoed in addresses by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. All three speakers strongly expressed a common message: requiring e-prescribing in Medicare Part D is critical to driving increased physician adoption of e-prescribing, saving billions of dollars in the next five years, as well as preventing thousands of deaths and unnecessary hospitalizations for Medicare beneficiaries.

The three addresses further noted that e-prescribing standards are in place, the national infrastructure is secure, and that patient safety should be at the forefront of public policymaking. E-prescribing standards will continue to evolve and e-prescribing for controlled substances is needed today to realize the full benefits of e-prescribing, they said.

JP Little, acting chief executive officer and chief operating officer of RxHub, explained that the company is proud to have been instrumental in leading manifest change for e-prescribing, which in turn will continue to foster widespread adoption and healthcare transformation.

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Pfizer invests in FivePrime for diabetes, cancer treatments

BY Drew Buono

SAN FRANCISCO Pfizer has taken an equity investment in FivePrime Therapeutics as part of a new research and licensing deal to find antibody targets and therapeutic protein products to treat diabetes and cancer, according to published reports.

FivePrime, a preclinical stage company expected to file an investigational new drug application for its lead oncology compound within the next six weeks, will receive an upfront payment and the equity investment from Pfizer. It also will get three years of committed research funding.

The deal is one of the first by Pfizer’s new Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center. The center is trying to boost the company’s pipeline by acquiring companies with promising drug developments.

Pfizer will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize certain products and targets that are discovered, while FivePrime will receive future milestone and royalty payments.

The deal helps FivePrime take several of its potential cancer products into clinical trials while expanding its discovery work, said president and chief executive officer Gail Maderis.

The companies did not disclose figures for those aspects of the deal.

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H-E-B, Kraft partner to offer health screenings

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK H-E-B, the Texas grocery chain, will offer health screenings at all its pharmacies on the second Saturday of every month until October.

The “Second Saturday Health and Wellness Screenings” program is sponsored by Kraft and offers free glucose and blood pressure screenings, as well as discounts on lipid panel, A1C and cholesterol screenings. Customers will receive free samples of healthy products as well.

Each screening has a theme: children for June, the military for July, the beginning of the school year for August, fitness for September and wellness for October.

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