PHARMACY

BioPlus now offering e-prescribing

BY Allison Cerra

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy announced that it now is allowing physicians to electronically submit prescriptions to its pharmacies.

BioPlus said its e-prescribing offering is designed to lessen the risk of errors, lower costs and improve compliance. The use of computerized medication order entry potentially could prevent up to 84% of dose, frequency and route errors in medication use, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,a Department of Health and Human Services agency.

“Electronic prescriptions were the next step in our Quality Improvement Program, not only ensuring prescription accuracy and security of patient data, but also increasing efficiencies in our clinical departments allowing us to further focus on our key objective – measurably improving patient outcomes,” BioPlus director of technology and operations Eric Jackson said.


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Pfizer acquiring Excaliard Pharmaceuticals

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pfizer will acquire a San Diego-based drug maker focused on treatments for skin scarring, the company said Tuesday.

Pfizer said it would buy privately owned Excaliard Pharmaceuticals, whose lead product, EXC 001, is in phase-2 trials for skin scarring, also known as skin fibrosis, a result of surgical procedures. There currently are no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments to reduce scar severity. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The acquisition of Excaliard is part of our corporate research and development strategy to actively complement our robust internal project pipeline with innovative and differentiated drugs from biotech partners," Pfizer president for worldwide research and development Mikael Dolsten said.

 


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UnitedHealthcare acquires XLHealth

BY Allison Cerra

MINNETONKA, Minn. — A UnitedHealth Group company announced its plans to acquire a sponsor of Medicare Advantage health plans in an all-cash transaction.

UnitedHealthcare said its acquisition of XLHealth — which currently serves approximately 113,000 Medicare Advantage members in Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas, and will expand its presence to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, New York and Wisconsin in 2012 — will allow the former to better serve chronically ill and dual eligible members (those who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid).

XLHealth estimates its 2012 revenues will exceed $2 billion.

“Combining XLHealth’s substantial capabilities and outstanding employees serving high-risk, chronically-ill Medicare beneficiaries with UnitedHealthcare’s breadth in both Medicare and Medicaid will significantly enhance our ability to serve older Americans,” UnitedHealthcare CEO Gail Boudreaux said. “As more Americans enter Medicare with multiple chronic conditions, including many who are also eligible for Medicaid, health plans that deliver effective complex care management can make an enormous difference in the quality of care beneficiaries receive. We greatly admire the work of the XLHealth team and look forward to leveraging XLHealth’s clinical management expertise to better serve our membership.”

UnitedHealthcare said it anticipates the deal will close during the first half of 2012 and be accretive to UnitedHealth Group’s earnings per share. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, the company noted.


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