PHARMACY

BCBS now accepted at Take Care Clinics in Florida

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has contracted with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida to cover services for members at all Take Care Clinics in the state of Florida.

With the addition of BCBSF, which covers nearly four million of Florida?s insured population, 80% of insured individuals in the state can visit a Take Care Clinic for the cost of a normal co-payment or co-insurance amount.

Florida is the largest market for the clinic operator with nearly 50 Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens. Locations include Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

“This partnership is a natural extension of Take Care Health’s goal to provide increased access to high-quality and affordable care to as many individuals as possible,” stated Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems. “We’re thrilled to work Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, a leader in the state’s health industry, to offer its members access to an innovative healthcare solution tailored to the needs of today’s families in the communities where they live and work.”

Additional insurance plans covering a visit to Take Care Clinics in Florida include Aetna, Assurant Health, AvMed, CIGNA, Humana, United Healthcare, and Vista.

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Report; N.Y. seeks to prohibit doctors from accepting gifts from drug companies

BY Alaric DeArment

ALBANY, N.Y. New York Gov. David Paterson hopes to put an end to gifts from drug companies to doctors, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that Paterson proposed legislation that would prohibit drug makers from giving doctors such gifts as pens and free meals to persuade them to prescribe their drugs. Drug companies that violated the ban would be fined between $15,000 and $250,000, while healthcare professionals would be fined $5,000 to $10,000. Nine states so far have laws on the books that prohibit the practice.

According to the AP article, patient-advocacy organizations such as AARP are supporting the legislation, while the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents the branded drug industry, opposes it.

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Acorda appoints EVP commercial development

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. The founder of a consulting firm has joined the executive board of Acorda Therapeutics, the drug maker announced Monday.

Lauren Sabella will work as Acorda’s EVP commercial development, reporting to president and CEO Ron Cohen and assuming responsibility for Acorda’s commercial operations such as marketing, sales and managed markets.

Before working for Acorda, Sabella was founder and principal of Tugboat Consulting Group, which assisted companies in commercialization. She also worked as VP commercial development for Altus Pharmaceuticals and served in various positions at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaeuticals for 18 years.

“I’m delighted to welcome Lauren Sabella to Acorda’s management team,” Cohen said. “Lauren has an impressive record of achievement in the pharmaceutical industry, including responsibility for launching and managing several high-performing products.”

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