PHARMACY

Teva launches generic Lescol

BY David Salazar
NORTH WALES, Pa. — Teva Pharmaceuticals on Thursday announced the launch of its generic Lescol XL (fluvastatin sodium) extended-release tablets. The drug is indicated to treat high cholesterol and triglycerides. 
 
“Our customers count on Teva for a continuous supply of new generic products,” Teva SVP and general manager U.S. generics Maureen Cavanaugh said. “With the launch of Fluvastatin Sodium Extended-Release Tablets, we add another quality product to our broad line of affordable generic pharmaceuticals.”
 
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IMS Institute study examines growth of global oncology market

BY David Salazar
PARSIPPANY, N.J. — A new report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics is taking a look at the growth the oncology market saw in 2015, fueled by a record number of innovative new cancer treatments. The global oncology market grew to $107 billion in 2015, and there are currently more than 20 types of tumors are being treated by one or more of the 70 new treatments introduced in the last 5 years. The report also looks forward to 2020 while highlighting the ways that growth in cancer treatments are changing the healthcare landscape in terms of cost and distribution as a result of increasing numbers of targeted therapies. 
 
“The new science redefining cancer as a large number of narrowly defined diseases and yielding therapeutic options for an expanding number of patients is rapidly transforming the oncology treatment landscape,” IMS Health SVP and IMS Institute executive director Murray Aitken said “Most health systems are struggling to adapt and embrace this evolution—including the regulatory systems, skilled professionals, diagnostic and treatment infrastructures, and financing mechanisms that are required to serve the needs of cancer patients around the world.”
 
When it comes to costs, spending growth between years has been increasing for years, with growth in the U.S. rising from 2% in 2011 to 13.9% in 2015 in on a constant-dollar basis, measured using ex-manufacturer prices without off-invoice discounts, rebates or patient access programs. The United States now accounts for some 45% fo the total global oncology market, up from 39% in 2011 — a trend the report attributes to increasing numbers of therapies and the strength of the U.S. dollar.  And oncology drugs now make up 11.5% of total drug costs, an increase over 2011 when they made up 10.5% of total costs. 
 
When it comes to distribution of drugs, in the U.S. much of the costs have increased rapidly in retail channels — unlike Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, where hospitals have been bearing the brunt of cost increases. The report attributes this to the rise in targeted therapies, in particular oral therapies that don’t need to be administered in a physician’s office or outpatient facility. As a result, cancer drugs dispensed through the retail channel make up about one-third of total costs — up from 25% 10 years ago, and the increase in oral formulations is also driving spending growth, as some 40% of targeted therapy costs go to oral formulations, the report said. 
 
Other trends in the U.S. oncology space include a 19% increase in the total treatment cost for patients with a cancer diagnosis receiving active treatment who have a commercial insurance plan, reaching $58,000. And some patients are spending more out of their pockets for the more expensive treatments. In 2014, patients with commercial insurance receiving injection or infusion drugs paid more than $7,000 of the costs on average, compared to $3,000 for patients taking oral medications. But savings plans are helping curb this, as more than 25% of the cost of prescriptions filled by patients with commercial insurance in the retail channel in 2015 were lessened by a coupon or manufacturer’s cost offset program — an increase over the 5% of prescriptions whose costs were offset in the retail channel in 2011. 
 
Looking forward, the IMS Institute projects for a high rate of innovation to continue through 2020. There are currently more than 500 companies actively pursuing oncology drug development globally, advancing almost 600 new molecules through late-stage clinical development with particular focus on non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, as well as breast, prostate, ovarian and colorectal cancers. Globally this means a projected growth of between 7.%% and 11.5% through 2020, leading the market to reach $150 billion. 
 
“These challenges demand urgent attention in light of the strong near-term pipeline of clinically distinctive therapies, and new programs such as the U.S. government’s ‘cancer moon shot’ that are galvanizing research efforts to change the trajectory of cancer,” Aitken said. 
 
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Diplomat closes TNH Specialty Pharmacy acquisition

BY David Salazar
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy on Thursday announced that it had completed its acquisition of Valley Campus Pharmacy, which does business as TNH Advanced Specialty Pharmacy providing individualized patient care in Van Nuys, Calif. 
 
“The combined resources of both companies opens new sales synergies and makes our services stronger in the evolving specialty pharmacy market.” Diplomat CEO and president Phil Hagerman said. “TNH's established physician referral presence in California and Texas strengthens Diplomat's footprint in key geographic markets. Further, the recent purchase of a licensed Texas facility to enable brick-and-mortar presence will allow us to open the door to service the state's 3.7 million Medicaid patients. As we integrate TNH into our family of companies, we will be leveraging their expertise, while remaining focused on providing care one patient at a time.”
 
Diplomat has paid TNH — which brought in $400 million in revenue in 2015 — $65 million in cash and $10 million in Diplomat common stock. The company expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in 2016. 
 
“Diplomat is a family-grown business guided by the philosophy, ‘Take good care of the patients and the rest falls into place,’” TNH CEO Avo Minasyan said. “We share that same philosophy, and are committed to maintaining the highest standards of customer care in the industry. TNH was founded based on the need to improve industry standards through technology for advanced specialty pharmacy services. Together, we will continue the dedication to high-touch management programs to enhance the entire care experience.”
 
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