Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva Respimat now available at pharmacies
BY Ryan Chavis
RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced that its Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium bromide) inhalation spray is now available by prescription through pharmacies across the United States.
The drug was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat bronchospasm associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — including chronic bronchitis and emphysema — and to reduce exacerbations in COPD patients, the company stated. The company's Spiriva Handihaler (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) will still be available for patients.
“For 10 years, Spiriva HandiHaler has been a trusted maintenance therapy for patients with COPD, and Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to now offer another inhaler choice, Spiriva Respimat,” said Danny McBryan, MD, VP, clinical development and medical affairs, respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. “Spiriva Respimat represents Boehringer Ingelheim’s continuing commitment to the COPD community to provide new treatment options.”
Boehringer Ingelheim is offering a savings care allowing eligible patients to receive Spiriva Respimat for as low as $10, depending on their insurance coverage. The card is available at Spiriva.com and can be activated at most pharmacies, the company said.
Drug Channels ranks total U.S. prescription dispensing revenues for 2014
PHILADELPHIA — Drug Channels Institute on Tuesday offered a sneak peek to its 2014-15 Economic Report on Retail, Mail and Specialty Pharmacies with a look at the largest pharmacies, ranked by total U.S. prescription dispensing revenues for calendar year 2014.
The top 15 pharmacies accounted for almost 80% of the pharmacy industry’s revenues, Drug Channels reported.
"We estimate that total revenues of retail mail, and specialty pharmacies reached $305.8 billion in 2014, up 7% from 2013," wrote Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting and writer of the Drug Channels blog. "The five usual suspects — CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Express Scripts, Walmart and Rite Aid — accounted for almost two thirds of dispensing revenues."
GPhA CEO Ralph Neas to step down in fall 2015
WASHINGTON — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association announced Tuesday that Ralph Neas, president and CEO, would be stepping down from his position in fall 2015. Neas has led the organization since September 2011. During his remaining tenure, Neas will continue to serve as CEO until a successor is named and will work to ensure a smooth and effective leadership transition for GPhA’s members, employees and stakeholders.
Neas is leaving GPhA to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and to work on critical issues such as non-partisan election reform.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with my GPhA colleagues to help ensure access to safe and affordable medicines, which save patients and the health care system hundreds of billions of dollars annually," Neas stated. "Over the past 12 months, I have been talking to a number of board members and staff about the next chapter in my life. This joint decision today will allow the GPhA board of directors and I to execute a smooth leadership transition and also allow me the time to explore leadership opportunities that have been presented to me regarding nonpartisan electoral reform and various entrepreneurial ventures in affordable health care, as well as the chance to resume part-time writing and teaching. I am especially proud of the exceptional GPhA team that has been built and how together we have achieved numerous legislative victories; protected the historic Hatch-Waxman Act; promoted future access to biosimilars medicines at the state, national and international levels; and enhanced our relationships with the FDA, Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, and the Executive Branch.”
“Ralph Neas has brought his leadership to GPhA during a challenging period for the industry," said Craig Wheeler, GPhA’s board chairman and president and CEO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. "Under his watch we have achieved significant programmatic successes that have increased the visibility and impact of GPhA and helped to support the generic industry and its mission to bring affordable medicines to the patients who need them. As Ralph prepares for his next chapter, he leaves GPhA with improved financial health, a capable and committed staff and renewed commitment from its members. We are a stronger trade organization because of Ralph.”
GPhA will begin a search for a new CEO immediately. Neas will also be available through spring 2016 to support and advise new leadership and ensure a successful transition for the trade association.
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