Newspaper links Pittsburgh pharmacy industry to change in prescription policy
PITTSBURGH The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday linked an expanding pharmacy industry—with heavyweights Walgreens, Rite Aid and the Pittsburgh-headquartered Giant Eagle all battling for marketshare—to a change earlier this year in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s prescription drug policy.
UPMC’s health plan covers some 450,000 lives in the Pittsburgh area.
As of Jan. 1, UPMC partnered with Express-Scripts as its pharmacy benefit manager, ending Giant Eagle’s exclusivity with UPMC and opening the pharmacy benefit to Kmart, Rite Aid, Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreens.
“It was just more fuel for the competitive fire spurring on the pharmacy operators who want the chance to gain share in this, one of the more appealing drug store markets in the country by virtue of its growing silver-haired population,” the Post-Gazette wrote. “That diagnosis helps explain the outbreak of Walgreens stores that seem to be erupting from every prime piece of landscape across the region.”
According to the paper, Walgreens plans to double its store count of 16 by next year and has recently rezoned its district map to include a Pittsburgh north district.
BMS to acquire biologics developer for $430 million
PRINCETON, N.J. Bristol-Myers Squibb has signed an agreement with Adnexus Therapeutics, under which BMS will acquire Adnexus, a developer of a new therapeutic class of biologics called Adnectins.
Under the agreement, Adnexus will become a subsidiary of BMS and advance BMS’ biologics, with its Phase I oncology biologic, Angiocept. BMS will acquire all of Adnexus’ issued and outstanding shares of stock for $430 million. There also is another $75 million that could be paid to Adnexus, in three separate payments, depending on development and regulatory milestones.
“Bringing Adnexus into the Bristol-Myers Squibb family builds upon a successful and productive collaboration between the two companies in oncology and is an important step in accelerating the strategic transformation of our pharmaceutical business to a biopharma business model,” said Jim Cornelius, chief executive officer of BMS.
Building new bridges to e-prescribing, SureScripts turns to vendors for advice
ALEXANDRIA, Va. SureScripts, the pharmacy-sanctioned electronic prescription platform provider, revealed today the formation of a 10-member advisory group charged with spurring the nationwide adoption of e-prescribing.
Composed of technology and electronic communications experts, the Prescriber Vendor Advisory Council will work with SureScripts on programs to boost the use of e-prescribing by U.S. physicians, the company said in a statement. “As part of its mission, the council will provide insight on key variables that are known to impact a physician’s decision to begin e-prescribing and their level of satisfaction once they start,” explained SureScripts spokesman Rob Cronin.
Members of the council are experts in the design and application of information technology used by physicians, according to the company. The group will convene this week, and will focus on such areas as technology design and programs to support the adoption by doctors of e-prescribing software. Together with SureScripts, the new advisory council will explore such topics as “how changes in electronic prescribing technology and making fuller use of pharmacy interoperability can improve the … workflow by professionals in the physician’s office and behind the pharmacy counter,” Cronin noted.
“Even the most compelling of new technologies will invariably face obstacles that slow adoption, and this has never been more true than in health care,” said Rick Ratliff, the company’s chief operating officer. “SureScripts will work with its Prescriber Vendor Advisory Council to identify and address these obstacles.”