PHARMACY

Senate Special Committee on Aging explores generic price spikes

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Senate Special Committee on Aging, led by chairman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and ranking member Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Wednesday hosted the first in a series of hearings the Committee will conduct to investigate recent instances of abrupt and dramatic generic drug price increases. 
 
(To view the full Category Review, click here.)
 
The hearing hopes to provide insight into the causes behind price hikes on off-patent drugs and the effect these price increases have on patients’ access to medication, the Senate Special Committee reported. The Committee will also look at how current regulations and public policy may contribute to this issue. 
 
"Generic price spikes are negatively impacting patients, pharmacists and health care payers alike," stated NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. "Importantly, the associated slow and low price adjustment on generic medications is wreaking havoc on the ability of small business pharmacies to remain viable and continue to provide critical medications and related care to patients. We commend Congress for conducting this hearing and urge lawmakers to take additional steps for increased transparency and adequate pharmacy reimbursement."
 
Witnesses called on Wednesday included: 
  • Gerard Anderson, professor, health policy and management, medicine, and international health, Johns Hopkins University;
  • Erin Fox, director, Drug Information Service, University of Utah Health Care and adjunct associate professor, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy;
  • David Kimberlin, professor and vice chair for Clinical and Translational Research and co-director, division of pediatric infectious diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and
  • Mark Merritt, president and CEO, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.
 
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Amneal launches generic lidocaine ointment

BY David Salazar

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Amneal Pharmaceuticals this week launched a new lidocaine product line with the availability of its lidocaine 5% ointment. The company said that it hopes to expand the line with a transdermal patch formulation, which is currently waiting for final approval from the Food and Drug Administration. 
 
“Lidocaine ointment is our third topical medication and, once approved, the patch will be our first transdermal product,” Amneal’s EVP sales and marketing Jim Luce said.  “These two additions to our portfolio demonstrate our commitment to expand into new, more complex dosage forms valued by our pharmacy customers and their patients.”
 
The annual sales for lidocaine ointment in the United States were $251 million for the year ending September 2015, according to IMS Health data. The cream will be available in a 50-g jar and a 35.44-g tube with a child-resistant cap. 
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Teva launches generic Actiq

BY DSN STAFF

NORTH WALES, Pa. — Teva Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced the launch of its new generic of Actiq (fentanyl citrate) oral transmucosal lozenges.
 
The lozenges are indicated to manage breakthrough pain in cancer patients 16 years old and older who are currently receiving and tolerating around-the-clock opioid medicine. They are contraindicated in patients who are not tolerant of opioids, management of acute or postoperative pain and patients sensitive to any of the drug’s ingredients.  
 
Teva’s lozenges will be available in 200-, 400-, 600-, 800-, 1200-, and 1600-mcg dosage strengths. 
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