Walgreens secures major contract to provide specialty pharmacy services
DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy is one of two companies to win a multi-year contract to provide specialty pharmacy services to more than 1.7 million members of Premera, a large health plan based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., and its affiliated companies.
Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy will provide programs and patient management services to Premera members who use specialty medications for chronic and complex health conditions including cancer, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. The subsidiary of Walgreens—which the chain now describes as the largest independent provider of specialty pharmacy services and fourth-largest specialty pharmacy in the country—will provide Premera with medication fulfillment, patient education and clinical support services. Its pharmacists and nurses also will counsel patients on the importance of medication compliance and side-effect management.
Premera companies provide health insurance and related services to members in Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Arizona. Walgreens said it will service those plan members from the Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy facility in Beaverton, Ore.
Michael Nameth, executive vice president of Walgreens Health Services, said a major factor in winning the Premera contract was “our ability to provide integrated specialty pharmacy services for Premera’s membership through our specialty pharmacy facility or at our 6,400 Walgreens retail pharmacies, and provide infusion services at our local home care branches.”
Glue-like bacterial sugar could lead to vaccine
LONDON A study has found that when manipulated with chemicals, a sugar that drug-resistant bacteria secrete triggered an immune response in animals.
The study, presented last week at the Dublin, Ireland, meeting of the Society for General Microbiology used a glue-like sugar that bacteria produce to protect themselves from antibiotics called PNAG.
PNAG alone does not produce an immune response in most people and animals, but the researchers, from the Harvard Medical School, hope that formulations of it do.
FDA announces likely delay on Novo Nordisk diabetes drug
WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will be unable to meet the user fee deadline for a timely approval of Novo Nordisk’s drug liragludite.
The FDA will not be able to make an approvability decision until March 23 for the drug, a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk had submitted an approval application for the drug on May 23.
The standard review period for FDA action on approval applications is 10 months. Because the agency’s advisory committee meeting will take place shortly before March 23, however, its decision will probably be delayed by a further two months, the company said.