PHARMACY

Catalyst, Walgreens move ahead with PBM acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Catalyst Health Solutions and Walgreens on Monday announced that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, in connection with Catalyst’s previously announced proposed acquisition of Walgreens Health Initiatives, the pharmacy benefit management subsidiary of Walgreens.

Completion of the proposed acquisition remains subject to other closing conditions. The companies continue to expect to complete the transaction in the first half of 2011.

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PHARMACY

Teva launches chewable birth control pill

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH WALES, Pa. — Teva Pharmaceuticals has launched a chewable birth control pill, the generic drug maker said Friday.

Teva announced the launch of Zeosa (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol) tablets.

The drug is chemically equivalent to Warner Chilcott’s Femcon Fe tablets and is available in the 0.4 mg/0.035 mg strength.

 

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NACDS president opines about the cost of medication nonadherence

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Looking to further communicate the important role pharmacy plays in the healthcare delivery system, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson ran an opinion column in a "Medication Non-Adherence" supplement published Monday by Mediaplanet and distributed in The Washington Post.

The column, headlined "Pharmacists: Reducing costs, saving lives," appears on page nine of the 12-page supplement, above the most recent version of NACDS’ print advertisement that currently is appearing in Washington, D.C., publications. The column also is listed in the "We Recommend" section on page two of the supplement.

"Pharmacists are not just friendly faces, but also serve in many ways as the face of neighborhood health care. But perhaps the greatest untapped potential lies in the education and training of pharmacists that equips them to help patients take medications correctly, which is referred to as ‘medication adherence’ within health care," Anderson wrote.

In the column, Anderson stressed the importance of medication therapy management and pointed to New England Healthcare Institute data, which estimated the costs of nonadherence at $290 billion annually in added healthcare costs — or 13% of all healthcare expenditures. Additional studies showed significant return on investment from MTM programs, in some cases reaching well over $10 in reduced healthcare costs for every $1 spent on MTM.

"Just as patients across the nation view their pharmacies and their pharmacists as true partners in meeting their needs at any given point in time, the pharmacy community stands ready to partner with Congress and the administration to help improve the health of patients and government budgets alike," Anderson wrote.

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