Biosimilar medicines have been approved and routinely prescribed in Europe for nearly seven years, and creation of a clear pathway for Food and Drug Administration review and approval of generic versions of bioengineered drugs was enshrined into law in the United States with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act nearly three years ago.
The generic drug tidal wave became a tsunami in 2012, with some of the world's top-selling pharmaceuticals swamped by generic competition, and health plan payers scrambling to reap billions of dollars in financial savings.
By the time it had unveiled the latest evolution of its hot, new Wellness store concept this fall in Lemoyne, Pa., Rite Aid was coming off seven consecutive quarters of Adjusted EBITDA and same-store prescription count growth — the strongest growth period for the company in several years.
Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO Ralph Neas called it “the most important pharmaceutical legislation since the 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act.” John Castellani, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said the law served “the best interests of America’s patients.”
New applications based on advances in telemedicine and mobile health technology are proliferating as pharmacy providers, physicians and health plans find new ways to connect with patients who are homebound or in remote locations. The result is to extend access to care, improve convenience and lower health delivery costs.
It’s a marriage of industry icons. In June, Walgreens finally made a long-awaited leap across the Atlantic to acquire British-based Alliance Boots, one of the world’s premier retailers of pharmaceuticals, health and beauty aids, and beauty care products.