PHARMACY

Allscripts hints at possible acquisition

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Electronic health record firm Allscripts may be looking at buyout offers from other companies, Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman said Thursday when the company announced its third-quarter 2012 earnings.

"We are confirming today that in light of the ongoing interest expressed in the company by third parties, the company is evaluating strategic alternatives," Tullman said. "Regardless of the outcome of this process, Allscripts’ primary focus is and will continue to be serving our clients through our industry-leading technology, services and the support we provide to 1,500 hospitals and over 50,000 ambulatory physician practices and post-acute providers with whom we do business."

The company said there was "no assurance" that it would be acquired and that it did not intent to comment further publicly.

The company reported sales of $360.7 million, down from $363.7 million in third-quarter 2011, and profits of $9.4 million, down from $19.1 million a year ago.


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PHARMACY

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy to hire 100 new employees

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — A rapidly growing specialty pharmacy company in Michigan is about to experience another spurt.

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy said it had an immediate need to fill 100 full-time jobs, primarily in patient care coordination, order entry and customer service, but including 10 to 15 positions in areas like nursing, five in sales and account management, and 10 to 15 in technology areas like programming, quality analysis, data modeling and data architecture.

"Diplomat is already well known in Flint and Genesee County, and we have had great success in hiring from this area," Diplomat human resources manager Tracey Watlington said.

In April 2010, the company announced that it would purchase its new headquarters, the former General Motors Great Lakes Technology Centre complex in Flint, Mich., with plans to hire 1,000 workers over five years.

A big plan the company has is to help reinvent the city of Flint, historically an auto industry manufacturing center that has long suffered from economic depression. In August, the company hired Flint native Steve Wolbert to be its first community relations liaison, a position that the company said was so successful that it promoted him to director of government relations and community affairs.

"One of Diplomat’s strategic goals is to go beyond checkbook philanthropy to expand our corporate citizenship initiatives, provide opportunities for jobs and create a strong community fabric again," CEO and co-founder Phil Hagerman said. "Steve has deep ties to the local community and has already spearheaded projects since joining us in August that are putting Diplomat in a leadership role in the transformation of Flint and Genesee County."


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Walmart to sell hypertension drugs for 1 cent

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Members of a prescription drug program offered by Humana to Medicare beneficiaries will soon be able to obtain hypertension drugs from Walmart for a penny.

That’s right: $0.01.

Walmart and Humana said that starting in 2013, members of the Humana-Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan would have access to 10 drugs for high blood pressure for 1 cent each when filled at a Walmart or Sam’s Club store. The companies said the price meant members would pay that much for them through all phases of their benefit, regardless of whether they have met their deductibles or are in the coverage gap.

"We are committed to making pharmaceuticals more affordable so our customers can ultimately live healthier lives," Walmart health and wellness division president John Agwunobi said. "The Humana-Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan will help eliminate out-of-pocket costs for high blood pressure treatments so more patients can follow the regimen prescribed by their physicians."

The drugs offered under the program are lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide, metoprolol tartrate, atenolol, lisinopril-hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene-hydrochlorothiazide, enalapril maleate, benazepril, nadolol and captopril.

"A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that close to 70% of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older have hypertension," Humana Pharmacy Solutions president William Fleming said, citing a CDC National Center for Health Statistics study released in May. "This statistic underscores the importance of offering affordable, high-quality prescription drugs to baby boomers and other beneficiaries as part of the Humana-Walmart Preferred Rx Plan."


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B.BEAMS says:
Nov-14-2012 10:21 am

Are there no State and Federal laws to prohibit a pharmacy from selling prescription medicines below their cost? I thought there were to keep large corporations, like Walmart, from running independents out of business.

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