PHARMACY

WellPoint to open 126,000 sq ft pharmacy at Indianapolis airport

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS WellPoint, the nation’s largest health benefits company, announced the opening of its new PrecisionRx Specialty Solutions pharmacy in Indianapolis, Ind.

The facility occupies approximately 126,000 square feet of space at the Indianapolis International Airport. It consists of both an automated facility for handling specialty pharmaceuticals and a national call center, the company said Monday.

WellPoint has already filled more than 400 new jobs at the site; consisting of operations and medical staff, call center staff, intake staff, and nurses. The company anticipates the number of new jobs to grow to 900 by the end of 2009.

PrecisionRx Specialty Solutions is designed to promote cooperation between physicians, pharmacists and patients to effectively manage a member’s medication and condition. PrecisionRx handles over 1,000 drugs for fourteen diseases, including hemophilia, multiple sclerosis and cancer.

“Today there are more innovative therapies to treat these very debilitating diseases,” said Recie Bomar, vice president of Specialty Pharmacy at WellPoint. “Our ability to meet the special needs of these members is a testament to the advanced technology we have implemented and the personal care coordination we are able to provide.”

Members who enroll in WellPoint’s specialty pharmacy programs benefit from more education about their conditions and better access to medication assistance programs, leading to better medical outcomes. This is accomplished by providing one-on-one service and support from personal care coordinators; ensuring members understand pharmaceutical treatments (including side effects and drug interactions) and coordination of patient-physician follow-up visits.

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Wyeth hit with $134.5 million in Nevada lawsuit

BY Drew Buono

RENO, Nev. Wyeth has been ordered by a Washoe county court to pay more than $43 million each to three northern Nevada women who claimed that the company’s hormone replacement drugs, Prempro and Premarin caused their breast cancer, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The jury said the drugs were defective and found the company negligent for producing, manufacturing and selling them. The jurors awarded $7.5 million to each woman in past damages and $36 million-$40 million in future damages.

The jurors still have to decide whether the company is liable for punitive damages. Wyeth is also fighting about 5,300 similar lawsuits involving 7,800 women in state and federal courts across the country.

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Teva sues Apotex over Coreg infringement

BY Drew Buono

TRENTON, N.J. Teva has sued Apotex to prevent it from selling a generic version of the heart medication Coreg, according to Bloomberg.

The two companies, as well as other generic drug makers, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell a generic version on Sept. 5.  Teva says it owns four patents that cover various forms and processes to make the generic, carvedilol. The company also said that Apotex might have to buy the compound made using the patented process in order to sell the generic.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday in a federal court in New Jersey. Coreg had sales of $853.8 million in the first six months of 2007.

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