Teva approved for new dose of Copaxone
JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on Tuesday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved its supplemental new drug application for three-times-a-week Copaxone in 40mg/mL. Daily Copaxone in 20mg/mL dosage will continue to be available.
Copaxone is administered to patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. The new formulation will allow for a less frequent dosing regimen.
“The availability of three-times-a-week Copaxone 40 mg/mL is a significant advancement for patients, as they now have the option of effective and safe treatment with Copaxone, while reducing the number of injections by 60%,” Omar Khan, M.D., professor of neurology and chair of the department of neurology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, said. “Patients in the United States can now benefit from an improved dosing regimen without compromising the known benefits of Copaxone.”
Three-times-a-week Copaxone 40mg/mL is available for shipping immediately.
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Report: Specialty pharmacy to account for half of all prescription revenue by 2018
PHILADELPHIA — Almost two-thirds of specialty pharmacy revenues are attributed to 1-of-3 companies, and the specialty pharmacy market is poised to explode, according to a Drug Channels Institute report released Tuesday.
"Three companies — Express Scripts, CVS Caremark and Walgreens — account for 63% of revenues from pharmacy-dispensed specialty medications that treat such illnesses as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis,” stated Drug Channels Institute CEO Adam J. Fein, the study’s author and a widely regarded expert on pharmacy economics and the pharmaceutical supply chain. “By 2018, 50% of industry revenues will come from specialty drugs,” Fein added. “Drug stores, hospitals, physician, wholesalers and health plans are all battling for position in this fast-growing market.”
The report, called "2013-14 Economic Report on Retail, Mail and Specialty Pharmacies," is a 185-page analysis of the $287 billion U.S. pharmacy industry with 98 proprietary charts, exhibits and data tables. What’s more, the institute analyzes how healthcare reform will affect pharmacies. It explores such factors as the healthcare coverage expansion, forthcoming Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement changes, the boom in narrow pharmacy networks for Medicare drug plans and unprecedented growth in the 340B drug discount program.
Every competition will be destroyed by these monopolies that exist by complicit government inaction. - Adam Gottbetter
Due to the risks and expense involved with Specialty Pharmacy Medications, it's critical that retail community pharmacist be involved with delivering the necessary pharmaceutical care and medication management services required to ensure optimal use. This is not the type of care to be delivered by off-site professionals who do not have a relationship with the patient. Otherwise physicians would adopt the same remote care treatment model. Plus patients should have a right to choose their pharmacist. The next important step for pharmacists to take is to communicate patient risks and concerns with this care model to CMS. Otherwise we could end up with additional health care risks and costs not unlike some of those acknowledged recently in the Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for Contract Year 2015 (CMS-4159-P)
January retail pharmacy comparable sales to be challenged by tough Rx comparisons, weak economy
NEW YORK — Tough comparisons against a robust flu season last year and the continued lackluster economy may put a chill in pharmacy comps for the month of January, wrote Credit Suisse research analyst Ed Kelly in a note published Wednesday.
"We believe front-end drug store sales were challenged in January, as a difficult comparison versus the peak of last year’s epic flu season, continued consumer weakness, competitive pressures and a lack of inflation likely affected results," he wrote. "[And] we believe script growth for the chain drug stores was weak in January, as the prior year materially benefitted from heightened levels of flu prescriptions and shots. While flu activity has been tracking above baseline levels, trends are still well below the level seen a year ago."
Citing IMS Health data, Kelly reported that prescription growth through the first three weeks of January was down 70 basis points versus flat in December.
However, comparable sales will still skew positive. Credit Suisse projects Rite Aid’s total comparable sales to be up approximately 0.5%. Rite Aid reports January sales on Jan. 30. And Walgreens’ total same-store sales is expected to climb 2.5% in January when the company reports January sales next week.
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