PHARMACY

Survey finds that Americans are in the dark about generics

BY Alaric DeArment

IRVINE, Calif. Though the use of generic prescription drugs has soared in recent years – to more than 60% of all prescriptions, by some estimates – many Americans remain in the dark about generics when it comes to their cost, active ingredients and effectiveness, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by health insurer UnitedHealth Group’s pharmacy benefit manager Prescription Solutions, found that nearly one-third of respondents did not know or believe that generics have the same active ingredients and effectiveness as branded drugs. While 71% of respondents said they were concerned about drug costs, and more than a quarter had delayed or avoided filling prescriptions or avoided taking their drugs as directed, two-thirds did not know of the cost differences between branded and generic drugs.

“Using generics helps make health care more affordable without compromising results,” Prescription Solutions CEO Jacquelin Kosecoff said. “Many Americans erroneously believe that the most expensive drug is always the most effective drug, so by helping to change perceptions, we can help people save money and still get the best treatment available.”

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NAMI releases PSA initiative regarding psychological disorders

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. A nonprofit organization hopes that a new series of public service announcements it has released will encourage people to connect with each other to help themselves, their families and friends who live with psychological disorders.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness announced this week that it had released a PSA initiative called “Puzzle Pieces” that includes four 60-second and three 30-second radio PSAs featuring testimonials from individuals and families that describe their experiences with mental illnesses and the role NAMI played in their recovery.

“We know that with early detection, appropriate treatment and support from family and friends, people with mental illness can lead healthy, rewarding lives,” NAMI executive director Michael Fitzpatrick said. “NAMI members connect to educate each other and encourage their loved ones during their personal journeys to wellness.”

The organization said that an estimated 1-in-5 American families is affected by mental illnesses, including major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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KV Pharmaceutical, Gedeon Richter announce licensing agreement

BY Alaric DeArment

BUDAPEST, Hungary An American drug maker has signed a licensing agreement with a Hungarian pharmaceutical company.

KV Pharmaceutical Co. announced that it had entered into an agreement with Budapest, Hungary-based Gedeon Richter and its American subsidiary for licensing rights to KV technologies and products in the women’s health category.

Under the agreement, Gedeon Richter will have the right to manufacture and distribute certain proprietary technologies and products from KV in the European Union and other areas where it does business, while KV will receive undisclosed milestones and royalties for products that the two companies develop. KV will retain U.S. rights.

“KV Pharmaceutical and Gedeon Richter have for many years enjoyed an excellent relationship and business collaboration, and we are very pleased to extend it in this fashion,” KV Pharmaceutical Co. interim CEO David Van Vliet stated. “We believe this agreement allows both Richter and KV to offer additional enhanced products to more completely serve physicians and their patients.”

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