As 2015 draws to a close, the year is on track to be one in which the value of the branded drugs losing their patent protection approaches an all-time high. The dozens of drugs that will have lost their patent protection this year are estimated to have global sales of $44 billion a year — the highest total since $53 billion worth of medications went off patent in 2012.
Rapidly rising prices for many generics, regulations that could restrict patients’ access to these medications, a Food and Drug Administration backlog in getting new drugs approved and market consolidation that is reducing competition are all making some wonder how much longer generics will continue to be affordable.
Health care is transforming, fundamentally and forever. And pharmacy has to change with it. Recognition of that reality has made Rite Aid’s now-former pharmacy leader one of the industry’s leading advocates for a new and broader role for pharmacists.
When he came to Rite Aid in 2004, Robert Thompson brought his own flair for reinvention and entrepreneurialism, shaped by a multifaceted career in both small- and large-chain retail pharmacy and in start-up companies dealing in other sectors of health and wellness.
A lot was happening in the world of community pharmacy, as we raced to close this issue of Drug Store News— no news bigger than the late October bombshell that Walgreens Boots Alliance would swallow up Rite Aid, in a deal valued at more than $17 billion all in.
Consider this: 1-in-5 hospital patients end up back in the hospital within 30 days of their discharge. And the biggest factors pulling them back all have to do with medications — either through medication errors, nonadherence or adverse drug events.
As health care continues to shift to an evidence-based model, ensuring patients are on the right therapy is a critical part of delivering improved health outcomes. Enter MD Labs and the company’s RxIGHT Pharmacogenetic test,