PHARMACY

Thrifty White rolls out diabetes support program

BY David Salazar
PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Thrifty White Pharmacy on Thursday announced the introduction of its new Healthy Outcomes Diabetes Support Program. The program will provide patients with diabetes an additional 24 touch points annually, customized to their needs to help maximize health outcomes. 
 
The company said the new program enables employers in the communities it serves to act on helping manage diabetes, something the employers have noted as one of their top two concerns, given that it has been estimated to cost $245 billion in direct and indirect costs. 
 
The program includes comprehensive medication reviews, personalized goal setting, disease education and biometric screenings, including A1c checks to monitor progress. The company’s RxMedSync refill scheduling program forms the foundation of the program and allows the clinical support team, patient and pharmacist align on goals. It will be offered directly to employers and through health plan partnerships beginning this month for a per-member-per-month fee. 
 
Drug Store News named Thrifty White its 2016 Pharmacy Innovator of the Year. Read the profile here.
 
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PHARMACY

Johnson & Johnson to buy Actelion for $30B

BY Brian Berk

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson will buy Switzerland-based Actelion for $30 billion, or $280 per Actelion share. As part of the transaction, Actelion will spin off its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into a newly created company to its shareholders in the form of a dividend immediately prior to the deal closing.

According to J&J, the transaction, which was unanimously approved by both companies’ board of directors, is expected to be immediately accretive to its adjusted earnings per share and accelerate J&J’s revenue and earnings growth rates.

Actelion has a franchise of differentiated products for pulmonary arterial hypertension that J&J said is highly complementary to its existing portfolio of its Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. J&J stated it expects to retain Actelion’s Switzerland presence.

“We believe this transaction offers compelling value to both Johnson & Johnson and Actelion shareholders,” said Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. “Actelion has built an attractive, growing business with world-class commercial and clinical development capabilities. Adding Actelion’s portfolio to our already strong Janssen Pharmaceuticals business is a unique opportunity for us to expand our portfolio with leading, differentiated in-market medicines and promising late-stage products. We expect to leverage our established global presence and commercial strength to accelerate growth and patient access to these important therapies.”

“I’m very proud that we have created such a unique value proposition through this structured transaction,” said Actelion Chairman Jean Pierre Garnier. “Actelion’s shareholders can monetize their holdings in Actelion at a highly attractive cash price of $280 per share, while at the same time retaining a significant stake in the future potential upside of Actelion’s earlier stage pipeline, through their ownership of R&D NewCo [the company Actelion will spin off to shareholders].”

Drug Store News reported on Dec. 29 that a J&J-Actelion deal could split the latter company into two companies.

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Aurobindo earns FDA approval for multiple sclerosis generic

BY Brian Berk

EAST WINDSOR, N.J. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Aurobindo Pharma’s Dalfampridine Extended-Release tablets, 10 mg, intended for treatment of multiple sclerosis.

The FDA’s Division of Bioequivalence determined the Aurobindo drug to be bioequivalent, and therefore therapeutically equivalent to the referenced listed drug, Amprya from Acorda Therapeutics.

According to QuintilesIMS, the Aurobindo product has an estimated market size of $347 million for the 12 months ended November 2016.

Aurobindo’s portfolio of generic pharmaceuticals includes 256 final FDA approvals, including 39 tentative approvals, and 16 approved products from Aurolife. There are 97 additional product on file with the FDA.

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