PHARMACY

Allscripts launches new program

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO A healthcare information technology company has launched a program to help physicians adopt electronic health records that qualify for federal incentives.

Allscripts announced Monday the launch of the Allscripts Stimulus Program, designed to facilitate rapid deployment of EHR.

The program guarantees that the Allscripts EHR that physicians select will meet the certification criteria provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, also allowing them to benefit from a financing program that waives payments for software for the first six months. HHS released a rule under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requiring physicians to demonstrate their “meaningful use” of a certified EHR in order to claim between $44,000 and $64,000 in Medicare and Medicaid stimulus incentives, which will become available in 2011.

“We have the best physicians and caregivers in the world,” Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman said in a statement. “The goal of this program is to drive the adoption and use of electronic health records to provide physicians with real-time information on best practices and connect them with the other healthcare stakeholders who are key to delivering an integrated, high-quality and cost-effective patient experience.”

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Walgreens offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens now is offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries at all of its more than 7,100 pharmacies throughout the country.

Following the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D insurance plans, Walgreens is assisting those beneficiaries who’ve made changes to their prescription drug coverage. Review sessions with Walgreens pharmacists are available daily by appointment through Jan. 31, and are designed to help patients maximize their plan benefits.

Review sessions include:

  • A review of beneficiary’s current medications, tiers within their selected plan, co-pays and cost-savings opportunities
  • Discussion of available health and wellness services including pneumonia and shingles vaccinations and 90-day prescription benefits
  • Checks for potential drug interactions

Customers can call their nearest Walgreens pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Visit www.walgreens.com or call 1-800-Walgreens for store locations and hours.

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Watson files FDA application for generic LoSeasonique

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Watson Labs, a subsidiary of specialty pharmaceutical company Watson Pharmaceuticals, has filed an abbreviated new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for an oral contraceptive.

Watson is seeking approval to market its levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol (0.10-mg/0.02-mg) oral contraceptive product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545, which is owned by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Teva.  Watson’s levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol product is a generic version of Teva’s LoSeasonique, which is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy.

On Nov. 23, 2009, pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, Watson notified Duramed that its ANDA requesting approval from the FDA for a generic version of LoSeasonique contained a paragraph IV certification asserting that the LoSeasonique patent is invalid, unenforceable and/or not infringed.  Teva Women’s Health filed suit against Watson on Jan. 6, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey seeking to prevent Watson from commercializing its product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545.  Based on available information, Watson believes it may be entitled to 180 days of generic market exclusivity or shared exclusivity should its product receive approval.

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