PHARMACY

Diplomat appoints Lance Neill as VP corporate services

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — An executive at Diplomat has been named VP corporate services, the specialty pharmacy said Wednesday.

Diplomat, which recently changed its name from Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, announced the appointment of Lance Neill, who will be responsible for analytics, business intelligence, contracting management and project management.

"Lance has already proven to be a valuable member of Diplomat’s executive team," Diplomat CEO Phil Hagerman said. "He brings deep industry knowledge to the table and has the experience necessary to adopt and implement important strategic initiatives that address anticipated challenges and opportunities in the growing specialty pharmacy space."

Neill, who began working at Diplomat earlier this year, previously worked for Walmart as director of commercial contracting and channel management, overseeing pharmacy contracting and network management for pharmacy benefit managers and large managed-care organizations.

 

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GSK, Theravance launch Breo Ellipta

BY Alaric DeArment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A once-daily inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has become available, the makers of the inhaler said Wednesday.

GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance announced the availability of Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate; vilanterol), for long-term maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, a term that encompasses chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The drug is not meant for treating acute bronchospasm or asthma, the companies said.

"Patients and physicians have a new treatment option with Breo Ellipta, the first once-daily [inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta-2 agonist] for the maintenance treatment of COPD," GSK U.S. Respiratory Business Unit SVP Jorge Bartolome said. "This new option for healthcare providers to prescribe is good news for the millions of people in the United States affected by COPD."

Under a partnership between the two companies started in 2002, Theravance is making a $30 million milestone payment to GSK following the launch of the drug, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in May.

 

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Paws Pet Co. to acquire Mesa Pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Paws Pet Co. is buying an Irvine, Calif.-based compounding pharmacy as it seeks to transition from a pet company into a pharmaceutical company, Paws said.

Paws said it has agreed to acquire Mesa Pharmacy, which makes custom compounded, non-narcotic, transdermal topical pain medications marketed to industrial health physicians and clinics. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mesa’s sales are expected to be more than $25 million in 2014, Paws said. This month, it has received more than $3.4 million in orders and filled more than $1.5 million in prescriptions.

As part of the transition, Paws plans to change its name to Praxsyn Corp.

"We are excited about these developments, for our company and our shareholders, and we believe with Mesa’s great team, a great foundation for future growth is set," Paws Pet Co. CEO Dan Wiesel said. "With the execution of this agreement, the way forward for Paws is clear, and we will now focus on completing the licensing process, domesticating the company in Nevada and changing our name to Praxsyn Corp."

 

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