SXC to acquire MedMetrics
LISLE, Ill. — Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions will acquire “substantially all” assets of Worcester, Mass.-based PBM MedMetrics Health Partners, SXC said Tuesday.
The companies expect the acquisition to be completed in second quarter 2011. Financial terms were not disclosed. MedMetrics manages about $200 million in annual drug spend.
“We are very pleased to welcome MedMetrics and its employees into the SXC fold,” SXC chairman, president and CEO Mark Thierer said. “We have worked with MedMetrics as a client and a partner over the past seven years; they began with SXC as a healthcare IT client and later expanded the relationship to include PBM services.”
Study: POS electronic safety check can reduce heart attack risk among diabetes patients
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A point-of-sale safety check may reduce the risk of patients unsafely receiving a drug for Type 2 diabetes that may increase their risk of heart attack, according to a new study conducted by pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics and scheduled for presentation at the 23rd annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy in Minneapolis.
The study found that a POS automated electronic safety edit designed to require prior authorization from a provider for patients using GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia (rosiglitazone) concurrently with an insulin or a nitrate reduced the chances of their receiving the drug, use of which with a nitrate could put them at risk of myocardial ischemia, a condition in which the arteries in the heart become blocked.
For the study, one of Prime’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield clients implemented an edit that required a prior authorization for Avandia if a nitrate drug supply already existed. As a result, between January and June 2009, 168 members had their Avandia claim denied at the POS. Researchers then compared those members with a control group of 222 for whom the safety edit was inactive. After six months, 78.6% of the 168 members in the study group were using a diabetes drug other than Avandia, compared with 25.6% of those in the control group. Thirteen percent of patients in the study group abandoned antidiabetic drug therapy altogether, compared with 15% in the control group.
Sylatron OKed as add-on melanoma treatment
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment made by Merck for treating skin cancer, Merck said Monday.
Merck announced the approval of Sylatron (peginterferon alfa-2b) as an add-on treatment for treating melanoma with microscopic of gross nodal involvement within 84 days of surgery.
“Merck is pleased to offer patients with node-positive melanoma this new option to treat the disease,” Merck VP clinical oncology Eric Rubin said. “This is the first such therapy approved for the adjuvant treatment of melanoma by the FDA in more than 15 years.”