Generic industry advocate tapped for high-level federal health post
WASHINGTON Signaling his determination to boost the role played by generic medicines in the nation’s effort to reduce health care costs, President-elect Barack Obama yesterday revealed his pick to serve as deputy secretary of the massive Dept. of Health & Human Services: former government health official William Corr. If confirmed by the Senate, Corr will serve as second-in-command at the agency under Obama’s nominee for HHS secretary, Tom Daschle.
Corr, an anti-smoking activist who currently serves as executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, would play a prominent role in plans by the new president to advance generic utilization and the creation of a clear pathway at the Food and Drug Administration for the approval of generic versions of bioengineered drugs, also known as follow-on biologics. He was chief of staff to former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala during the Clinton Administration, as well as chief counsel to Daschle during the latter part of Daschle’s career in the Senate. Tellingly, Corr also served as a staff member to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., during Waxman’s tenure as House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee chairman.
In that role, Corr helped draft legislation that led to the landmark Waxman/Hatch compromise bill in 1984 that opened the door to the modern era of generic competition. As such, he will be a strong proponent of me-too substitution and follow-on biologics.
“Under the leadership of Tom Daschle and Bill Corr, I am confident that my Department of Health and Human Services will bring people together to reach consensus on how to move forward with health care reform,” said Obama.
Assurant Health announces benefits partnership with Take Care
MILWAUKEE Assurant Health has announced that its health plan members can now receive in-network benefits at all Take Care Clinics.
With the addition of the 322 Take Care Clinics, which are located within Walgreens stores, Assurant Health customers with Individual Medical, Short Term Medical and Real Choices Small Group plans have access to more than 800 retail health clinics throughout the United States.
“This agreement is part of our continuing commitment to give our customers more choices and convenient access to affordable health care options,” said Scott Krienke, SVP of product lines for Assurant Health.
Added Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems, “Our goal is to provide access to care to as many individuals as possible. Partnering with companies like Assurant Health allows us to offer our model of care to more individuals across the country, and this national contract sets the stage for continued coverage as we expand our model to new markets and states.”
FDA approves generic version of Medicis’ Loprox
ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of Medicis’ Loprox, FDA records show.
The agency approved Paddock’s ciclopirox gel in the 0.77 percent strength on Jan. 7. The gel is used to treat seborrheic dermatitis.
Medicis’ non-acne skin medicines had sales of $173 million in 2007, according to Medicis financial data, which did not list separate figures for Loprox. Nycomed also makes a generic version of the 0.77 formulation, while Medicis continues to market the 1 percent formulation.