PHARMACY

Teva to acquire Gecko Health Innovations

BY DSN STAFF

JERUSALEM and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Teva Pharmaceutical on Friday announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Gecko Health Innovations, which focuses on developing software and product solutions to aid in compliance and adherence improvement in the management of respiratory diseases.

"The acquisition of Gecko Health Innovations further enhances Teva's ability to develop and deliver truly patient-centered solutions by utilizing e-connected, data-driven technology to improve the management of respiratory diseases," said Rob Koremans, president and CEO of Teva Global Specialty Medicines.

Through the agreement, Teva will acquire CareTRx, a cloud-based solution developed by Gecko Health Innovations to simplify chronic respiratory disease management, connecting patients and caregivers through remote monitoring and real-time adherence tools. CareTRx is comprised of a hardware device that attaches to most metered-dose inhalers, as well as a software program which synchronizes and stores data through an app-based user interface.  

"During the last three years, we have designed and built a system to support respiratory disease management by intuitively connecting caregivers, patients and families," said Dr. Yechiel Engelhard, CEO and founder of Gecko Health Innovations. "In founding Gecko Health Innovations, our vision was to connect chronic medication management into one platform, leveraging this information to support and empower patients by partnering with leading players in the health care and pharmaceutical industries. We are very excited to realize this vision as it aligns to Teva's focus on innovative patient solutions."

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PHARMACY

Survey: Prescription drug trends to increase by double-digits

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2016 will increase for most medical plan options and increase substantially for prescription drug coverage to double-digit rates, according to forecasts compiled in the 2016 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, Segal’s nineteenth annual survey of health plan cost trends. Trend is the forecast of annual gross per capita claims cost increases.

“Whether it is new high-tech surgical or diagnostic procedures replacing lower-cost options, or extremely high-cost specialty biotech drugs growing in popularity, plan sponsors still face significant challenges to manage medical plan cost trends to more sustainable long-term levels,” said Edward Kaplan, National Health Practice Leader at The Segal Group. “Plan sponsors have already put cost-management strategies, such as adding narrower provider networks and using specialty pharmacy management, into place.”

Other prescription drug coverage findings included:

  •     Trend rates for prescription drug coverage are expected to be significantly higher in 2016: 11.3% for carve-out coverage for actives and retirees under age 65 years and 10.9% for retirees ages 65 years and over. Both projections are roughly 3 percentage points greater than projections for 2015.
  •     The projected specialty drug/biotech drug cost trend rate is expected to remain high at 18.9%, but slightly lower than the projection for 2015.
  •     Price inflation for prescription drugs and hospital stays are the overwhelming driver of cost increases, especially for prescription drugs, where trend is approaching double digits (9.8%).

The Segal survey included data from managed care organizations, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and third-party administrators. For complete survey results, click here.

 

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30-year retail-pharmacy leader joins CARE board

BY Michael Johnsen

LINTHICUM, Md. — CARE Pharmacies Cooperative on Monday named Michael Cantrell to their board of directors to serve a three year term.   
 
“Mike’s experience and insight will be invaluable to CARE as we expand our specialty and managed care initiatives,” said Mike Wysong, CEO, CARE Pharmacies. “We look forward to welcoming him to our leadership team.”
 
With more than 30 years of industry experience, Cantrell is currently VP pharmacy network development for Ateb. Cantrell also held previous leadership positions including SVP retail health for Shopko and VP pharmacy for Delhaize America. 
 
Cantrell also worked at AmerisourceBergen and is a Longs Drugs alumnus. He is known for his expertise in pharmacy operations, managed care, regulatory oversight, pharmacy mail order and central fill operations, community pharmacy marketing and procurement, specialty pharmacy, and state and federal legislative affairs and government relations.
 
For Ateb, Cantrell develops quality-focused provider networks that connect constituents across the care continuum to manage healthcare costs while optimizing patient outcomes. And he employs community pharmacists to deliver that care.
 
Cantrell earned his B.S. Pharmacy from University of Utah; a B.A. in Chemistry from University of No. Colorado; and graduated frome the Executive Management Program for Pharmacy Leaders at the Wharton School of Business. 
 
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