PHARMACY

BioScrip reports Q4, full-year sales results

BY Alaric DeArment

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — Specialty pharmacy provider BioScrip had sales of $450.4 million in fourth quarter 2010 and $1.6 billion for the year as a whole, according to financial results released Friday.

Sales for the quarter were $108.8 million higher than in fourth quarter 2009, while sales for the fiscal year were $300 million higher than in fiscal year 2009. However, the company still had net losses of $67.1 million for the quarter and $69.1 million for the year.

“2010 was a challenging year for BioScrip,” the company’s president and CEO Rick Smith said. “During the year, revenue and margins were impacted by pricing concessions on various specialty drugs, reimbursement pressures, the new industrywide [average wholesale price] standard and the overall impact of the weak economic environment. As a result, we commenced a strategic assessment of our business lines and overhead structure to position BioScrip for the future.”

Highlights for the year included the acquisition of CHS, which Smith said bolstered the company’s position in infusion and home services.

“We believe there are significant opportunities for BioScrip to improve operating performance and cash-flow generation,” Smith said.

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FDA backs NCL’s medication adherence campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is putting its weight behind a campaign by the National Consumers League to combat poor medication adherence.

According to an entry in The Federal Register, the agency is awarding a $40,000 grant for the year to the NCL, as well as the possibility of additional $40,000 grants next year and the year after, to fund the organization’s national campaign to bring together retail pharmacy chains, healthcare professionals, insurance companies, drug companies, health information technology companies, businesses, labor unions, government agencies and others in order to target patients with chronic disease states and healthcare practitioners.

In addition to putting patients at risk, poor medication adherence is estimated to cost the economy $290 billion per year, according to the entry.

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NACDS presents RxImpact ‘U’ Advocacy Award

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Advocacy on behalf of pharmacy at the state level has won recognition from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores for a pharmacy school in West Virginia.

The NACDS said it gave its RxImpact “U” Advocacy Award to students Katrina Thompson and John Hudson from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy for their leadership in organizing student participation in a Pharmacist’s Legislative Day at the West Virginia State Capitol.

“NACDS RxImpact ‘U’ was developed to engage the next generation of pharmacy — pharmacy school students — in grassroots advocacy,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. “Katrina and John have demonstrated a commitment to telling pharmacy’s story, and serve as fine examples for other advocates participating in NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill.”

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