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Anda welcomes MLB star, pro golfers

BY Michael Johnsen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — More than 350 executives who participated in Anda’s Sixth Annual Supply Chain Symposium here Friday evening were treated to a keynote address from Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s EVP baseball operations. Torre is a nine-time MLB All-Star and managed the New York Yankees to four World Series championships.

Anda also introduced a surprise guest. “We surprised everybody this year with Jack Nicklaus coming out as our special guest on Thursday night,” said Bill Versosky, Anda VP sales and marketing. The legendary golfer — and son of pharmacist Charlie Nicklaus — serves as “the spokesperson for TrueScience, our partner who is bringing pet medication VetIQ to retail pharmacies,” said Versosky.

Early on Friday Johnny Miller, former professional golfer and winner of 25 PGA Tour events and lead golf analyst for NBC, joined symposium participants on the golf course. And during lunch, pharmaceutical analyst Charles Haisch of IPD Analytics provided an update to the “patent cliff” as a market force, as well as key legal case updates across the industry.

“When we started a few years ago, we had about 80 people, and this year we’re going to be more than 350 people,” added Marc Falkin, Anda VP purchasing. “One of the things that is most important to us is as Anda expands its portfolio of products, we’re happy to have so many new companies join us. Our goal is to continue to add those products to our portfolio and look forward to hosting many more people over the coming years.”

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GPhA welcomes Bipartisan Policy Center proposal to save billions through increased use of generics

BY Jason Owen

WASHINGTON — A report released yesterday by the Bipartisan Policy Center, entitled “A Bipartisan Rx for Patient-Centered Care and System-Wide Cost Containment,” contains a smart, forward-looking and no-cost recommendation that could save the government billions, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association said today.

According to GPhA, the report focused on finding practical solutions and incentives for a more sustainable health care system, calls for the greater use of generic drugs, which are a safe, affordable and proven method for lowering health costs. The BPC proposal calls for stronger incentives for Medicare low-income subsidy beneficiaries to use lower-cost drugs, along with incentives for Part D plans to provide generic alternatives. The Center estimates the savings from this provision for FY2013-2023 at $44.3 billion. GPhA included a similar provision in its “Prescription for Sequestration Pain” letter in March, calling on Congress to use generic drugs to help lower health costs, which are a contributor to the federal deficit.

“This proposal highlights the dramatic cost savings that policies encouraging generic use can have. When the government takes full advantage of generic drugs, it results in major savings. This is evident in the Veteran’s Administration, in TRICARE, and others. The Medicare low-income subsidy population can benefit similarly, saving billions by employing these measures,” said Ralph G. Neas, president and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

In addition to reimbursement shifts that could save billions, the BPC also highlights the need to close the loophole in the current REMS policy, a regulatory program designed to reduce consumer misuse of high-risk drugs that is being taken advantage of by brand companies seeking to prevent generic competition. BPC estimates this small change would result in more than $753 million from FY2013-2022.

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FDA grants tentative approval to two Sun generics

BY Alaric DeArment

MUMBAI, India — The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to two generic diabetes drugs made by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, the Indian drug maker said.

Sun announced the tentative approvals for sitagliptin tablets in the 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg strengths and metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the 500 mg and 1,000 mg strengths. The drugs are respectively generic versions of Merck’s Januvia and Santarus’ Glumetza.

Tentative approval means that the drugs meet the FDA’s requirements for approval, but the agency can’t give full approval because the brand-name drugs’ patents haven’t yet expired. Patents covering Januvia are scheduled to expire starting in April 2017, while those covering Glumetza are expected to expire starting in September 2016, according to FDA records.

Sitagliptin tablets have annual sales of about $2.7 billion, while metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets have sales of about $140 million, according to Sun.

 

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