PHARMACY

State of the Union address draws mixed responses from drug industry

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Some people liked President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, and some people didn’t, and the response from the drug industry was no less mixed.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association called for measures to lower healthcare costs, including ensuring that generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars reach patients’ hands quickly and also avoiding measures intended to provide savings that the GPhA said would raise prescription drug costs, though the grow didn’t specify what those measures were.

"While many factors driving health costs, such as an aging population, are inevitable, others are not," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "We know that policies that encourage generic and biosimilar utilization hold the promise of saving tens of billions over the next decades."

Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which lobbies on behalf of brand drug makers, criticized what it called the Obama administration’s plans to "upend" Medicare Part D by imposing price controls on it.

"The facts about Part D are simple and do not support this radical proposal," PhRMA SVP Matthew Bennett said. "Part D succeeds for seniors and taxpayers because it’s built on effective competition and the savings negotiated by large, powerful plans — the same plans used by private employers and insurers — on behalf of seniors and taxpayers."

Still, PhRMA praised Obama’s expression of support for industry research.

"In his speech tonight, the president recognized the enormous human and economic value of biomedical research, and the extraordinary importance of developing new medicines," Bennett said, noting that the drug sector has one of the most intensive focuses on research and development and accounts for 20% of R&D funding, the single largest share in the country, according to the National Science Foundation.


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NACDS touts pharmacists’ role in vaccinations for House subcommittee hearing

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores made its voice heard in the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the role of pharmacists in influenza vaccination, the retail pharmacy lobbying group said Wednesday.

The subcommittee had a meeting Wednesday titled “Influenza: Perspective on Current Season and Update on Preparedness,” drawing a statement from the NACDS about the recognition of community pharmacists’ by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for helping prevent the spread of infectious diseases through vaccinations.

“According to data collected by CDC, pharmacists have been instrumental in increasing the vaccination rate in the United States,” the statement read. “In fact, the CDC has specifically asked the pharmacy community for its continued support and efforts to help address vaccination needs in their local communities.”


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SoloHealth CEO joins exclusive Dell-sponsored group

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — SoloHealth founder and CEO Bart Foster has joined the Dell Innovators Credit Fund Founders Club, which computer manufacturer Dell created for what it regards as innovative business leaders, SoloHealth said.

The group, whose membership is by invitation only, is part of the Dell Innovators Credit Fund, the computer maker’s commitment of up to $100 million to fuel entrepreneurial initiatives in the global marketplace through end-to-end technology solutions, access to credit, advice and expertise. Dell is a strategic partner with SoloHealth, which uses Dell’s OEM Solutions technology, development and deployment expertise in its SoloHealth Station kiosks. The two companies have produced more than 1,400 kiosks in retail locations nationwide, and Foster was invited to display the station and participate in Dell’s annual DellWorld event that took place in December 2012.

The news comes weeks after SoloHealth announced its partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation’s 2013 Clinton Health Matters Initiative, which also includes companies like GE, Humana and Tenet Healthcare Corp.


 

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