PHARMACY

Teva restructures, shuffles executive team

BY David Salazar

On the heels of its appointing a new CEO, Teva is restructuring itself and naming new executives in an effort it said would create strategic alignment across its portfolio, regions and functions and drive profits as it continues to face headwinds.

“Teva is taking decisive and immediate action to address external pressures and internal inefficiencies,” Teva president and CEO Kåre Schultz said. “Our new company structure will enable stronger alignment and integration between R&D, operations and the commercial regions, allowing us to become a more agile, lean and profitable company.”

Under the new structure, the global generics and specialty medicines groups will be integrated into a single commercial organization covering North America, Europe and growth markets. Each region will manage the entire portfolio from OTC to specialty and generic pharmaceuticals. Generic and specialty R&D wings also will be combined into a single global group responsible for all R&D across generics, specialty and biologics. The company also will have a newly formed Marketing and Portfolio function, which will oversee communication between regions, R&D and operations for all products. Teva said the new organizational structure would rely on a leaner infrastructure in its finance, legal, HR and global brand and communications

Along with the new organization, Teva has created a new executive team. The company has named interim CFO Mike McClellan as its executive vice president and CFO, named Hafrun Fridriksdottir — most recently chief commercial officer for global specialty medicine — executive vice president of North America commercial. The company’s European generics president and CEO Richard Daniell is now executive vice president of European commercial and Gianfranco Nazzi will move to the executive vice president of growth markets commercial position from his role as presient and CEO of Teva’s generic group’s growth markets division. Addtionally, Sven Dethlegs is now executive vice president of global marketing and portfolio, having most recently been global head of respiratory medicines and COO of Teva Global Operations.

“The new management team will position Teva for turnaround in the short to medium term. We are already working on a detailed restructuring plan for Teva and will share it in mid-December,” Schultz said. “It remains our absolute priority to stabilize the company’s operating profit and cash flow in order to improve our financial situation, while being focused on short-term revenue and cash generation, and at the same time, ensure we deliver on our commitment to supply high-quality medicines to patients around the world.”

With the structural changes, Michael Hayden, Rob Koremans and Dipankar Bhattacharjee will retire, effective Dec. 31.

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Upsher-Smith relaunches Klor-Con powder

BY David Salazar

Upsher-Smith, the Maple Grove, Minn.-based subsidiary of Japan’s Sawai Pharmaceuticals, has re-introduced its Klor-Con (potassium chloride for oral solution). The company received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the product that joins its generics portfolio. The company noted that the relaunched product would be available with a new NDC number.

The product has a U.S. market size of $98 million for the 12 months ended September 2017, according to data from IQVIA.

‘The past six months have been particularly exciting for Upsher-Smith as we have transitioned from a privately-owned company to an integral part of the Sawai Group, a globally driven, publicly traded Japanese Company," Upsher-Smith president and CEO Rusty Field said. “The ANDA approval of KLOR-CON® Powder along with other recent ANDA approvals demonstrate our commitment to expanding our portfolio of quality, high-value generic products.”

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NACDS evaluates CMS’ proposed rule for pharmacy progress

BY David Salazar

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently shared its proposed changes to Medicare Part D, and it includes several measures that the industry has been seeking. The proposed rule includes changes regarding e-prescribing and medication therapy management, addressing opioid abuse and building pharmacy access, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores said.

“NACDS was pleased to see progress on several important issues in CMS’ proposed rule – including pro-patient and pro-pharmacy approaches on which NACDS has advocated,” NACDS CEO Steve Anderson said. “NACDS will remain engaged on these topics and will issue further comments as CMS continues its work on this proposal, particularly where there are opportunities to shape policies to achieve even better results for Medicare beneficiaries and for the pharmacies that serve them.”

Among the measures in the proposed changes are implementations of guidelines from the comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, which treats a pharmacy with multiple locations that share real-time electronic info as a single pharmacy. By treating multiple locations as a single “locked-in” pharmacy — from which patients at risk for prescription drug abuse or misuse are required to pick up their medication by their plan sponsor, it allows for patient convenience, NACDS said.

CMS also is proposing the adoption of an official electronic prescribing standard for sharing electronic prescriptions and related information. The agency proposes adopting the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT Standard for electronic prescribing.

The proposed changes also take into account reimbursement for pharmacy services. It would classify MTM programs as a quality improving activity, rather than an administrative function — confusion over which NACDS said leads MTM to get included in an area on which Medicare Advantage plans limited spending to 15%. CMS also is clarifying that Part D plan sponsors can’t exclude pharmacies with innovative or unique models because they don’t fit the correct pharmacy type classification for contracted pharmacy networks.

Additionally, CMS is soliciting comments on potential policies relating to direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR, fees. NACDS said it would continue to push CMS to issue guidance calling for increased transparency on DIR Fees, particularly with regard to timing and consistency.

“NACDS will remain vigilant on the numerous, complex and highly consequential policies that ultimately affect pharmacy operations and pharmacy patient care. We will continue to articulate a pro-pharmacy and pro-patient voice as CMS advances its consideration of these issues, and we appreciate the progress that CMS is proposing on diverse and critical topics,” Anderson said.

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