PHARMACY

Cardinal Health debuts Order Express at annual trade show

BY Allison Cerra

DENVER To kick off its annual retail pharmacy trade show, Cardinal Health launched Order Express, a new, user-friendly online ordering system for independent pharmacies.

Order Express provides retail pharmacies with a more convenient online buying experience that includes many features that are similar to online consumer shopping sites, including:

  • Asimple and easy-to-navigate site design that requires little, if any, training to use;
  • A new product search tool that enables users to quickly find and order the products they’re looking for;
  • Special promotions, clearly highlighted on its homepage, so users can instantly click to take advantage of special product pricing offers;
  • A new shopping cart feature that puts each final order into a concise, itemized list with the option to edit, add or delete products at any point in the ordering process; and
  • Clear and transparent generics pricing information to empower users to make smarter buying decisions.

“Our new Order Express online ordering system is a great example of Cardinal Health’s commitment to making smart investments in industry-best technology that can help our customers save time and run more efficient businesses,” said Mike Kaufmann, CEO of Cardinal Health’s pharmaceutical segment. “We remain focused on finding innovative ways to help our customers work smarter, not harder, so they can focus more time on what they do best: serving patients.”

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Reaching out to new CMS administrator Berwick, NACDS highlights pro-patient, pro-pharmacy goals

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is moving quickly to establish a working relationship with newly installed Medicare and Medicaid chief Donald Berwick.

NACDS on Wednesday sent a letter to Berwick, who was tapped by President Obama to serve as the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson urged continued collaboration with CMS on issues related to pharmacy that he said are vital to quality health care and cost reduction.

“NACDS and its member companies are committed to improving patient adherence to their prescription drug regimens,” Anderson told Berwick. “We strongly believe that access to neighborhood pharmacies and pharmacist-provided care can improve health outcomes for patients and reduce costs.”

Anderson also pointed to issues of major concern to retail pharmacy, including fair reimbursement for prescription and pharmacy services, pharmacy’s role in a medical home and the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse. He pledged NACDS’ support in working with the new CMS chief on ongoing efforts to reduce fraud and waste in the healthcare system.

“We look forward to working with you on these and other issues that impact chain pharmacies and the patients they serve,” the letter concluded.

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Eli Lilly acquires Alnara

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS Drug maker Eli Lilly has finished its acquisition of a company developing a pancreatic disorder treatment.

Lilly announced Tuesday that it had finished acquiring Alnara Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company, in a deal announced July 2. Lilly acquired Alnara for an upfront payment of $180 million, and Alnara stockholders could receive up to $200 million in additional milestone payments based on product performance.

Alnara is developing liprotamase, a pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy under review by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a disease resulting from cystic fibrosis, removal of the pancreas, chronic pancreatitis and other conditions.

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