PHARMACY

Diplomat to dispense Zejula

BY David Salazar
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy on Wednesday announced that it had been selected to the specialty pharmacy panel dispensing Zejula (niraparib). The drug is a once-daily oral maintenance treatment indicated to treat women with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer.
 
Zejula is the first poly ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration that doesn’t require BRCA mutation or other biomarker testing, Diplomat said.
 
“For women living with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer, Zejula (niraparib) offers new hope as a promising treatment option,” said Paul Urick, Diplomat’s president.
 

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PHARMACY

Upsher-Smith to sell generics business for $1.05B

BY Brian Berk

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Japanese generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Sawai Pharmaceutical will purchase the generic pharmaceuticals business of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, from its parent, Acova, for $1.05 billion.

Under Thursday’s agreement, expected to close near the end of June 2017, Rusty Field, the current President of Upsher-Smith, will continue leading the company. Following the closing, Upsher-Smith’s non-generic pharmaceuticals businesses will remain with Acova.

The acquisition will mark a major expansion of Sawai’s presence in the U.S. market. Sawai plans to build a U.S. business that leverages its intellectual property and combines research and development capabilities with Upsher-Smith’s manufacturing base, strong distribution network, established commercial relationships and highly respected brand. For Upsher-Smith, the acquisition brings access to Sawai’s state-of-the art manufacturing technology and opportunities to bring its medicines to exciting new markets, like Japan, according to a news release.

Upsher-Smith is a privately-held U.S. pharmaceutical company, owned by the Evenstad family through their company, ACOVA. Mark Evenstad is the CEO of Upsher-Smith, and his father, Ken Evenstad is the chairman.

“We all want to thank the Evenstad family for their excellent stewardship of the company,” said Field. “I speak for the entire management team when I share how excited we are to be entering a new phase of our growth as a global company. In the dialogue we have had with the Sawai management team over recent months, it is clear that our two companies are an excellent fit in terms of philosophy and vision, with an equal focus on the importance of quality. Together we look forward to achieving recognition as a global contributor to the growth of generics, with a firm grounding in ‘Patients First.’”

“Upsher-Smith has developed and delivered crucial therapies to patients, from infants to the elderly, with a broad array of on-market generic pharmaceuticals. We have also built a pipeline that will enable even more patients to get life-changing therapies over the next several years. After owning and operating Upsher-Smith for the past 47 years, my family and I made the decision to sell the largest part of our company, the generic pharmaceuticals business, to Sawai,” said Mark Evenstad, CEO. “It was extremely important for us to find a buyer that shared Upsher-Smith’s values, was completely committed to its long-term success and was looking for a strong and fully operational U.S. platform for growth. Sawai is a compelling strategic fit and we are delighted that the generics business is poised to benefit from the extensive resources and management focus that Sawai will bring.”

No changes to Upsher-Smith’s operations are currently anticipated, and under the leadership of Field, the current management team will continue to lead Upsher-Smith from its current headquarters in Minneapolis.

“We are delighted to sign this agreement today with Acova to acquire Upsher-Smith, which is our first overseas investment. Upsher-Smith, like Sawai, has a long history as a private family-owned generic pharmaceuticals company that is also focused on patient needs, centered on our philosophy of “Patients First.” We look forward to working closely with Rusty and the talented management team to forge a new global chapter in Upsher-Smith’s future together. Most importantly, we are committed to the entire team at Upsher-Smith, and to expanding the opportunities for the U.S. workforce at Upsher-Smith,” said Sawai President Mitsuo Sawai.

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Kalorama outlines 5 reasons why retail clinics will change the face of health care

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — By their very existence, retail clinics could threaten and/or complement at least six parts of the healthcare system, according to a report from Kalorama Information published Thursday, which placed the number of retail clinics at 2,200 across the U.S. According to the report, the oftentimes one-person operations have had a direct impact on hospitals, doctor's offices, government and private insurance payers, vaccine companies, in vitro diagnostic companies and healthcare IT companies.  

"They deliver healthcare to customers where they are, where the rest of the healthcare system awaits patients," stated Bruce Carlson, publisher Kalorama Information.  "Ten years ago, the retail clinic concept was novel. Now, it's rare to hear a discussion of healthcare trends that doesn't include these clinics.  Everyone is thinking about how they can align to the trend."

Indeed, the retail clinic concept is brought up in nearly every discussion of healthcare, from cost-cutting for governments to methods for better preventive care.  

There are five ways Kalorama thinks disruption will happen, the report noted:

  1. They are a lower cost solution than the emergency room and can be used both to compete for insurance company business with high-cost ERs and also be used by healthcare organizations to reduce the traffic at the ER;
  2. As 85% of retail clinic patients have a physician that they have seen regularly, they are a potential boon to the doctor's office. They refer patients – even to the point of suggesting the patient obtain a primary care doctor – and don't provide all services;
  3. They are already a source of focus in the in vitro diagnostics industry, as major IVDs develop testing units for both retail and urgent care clinics;
  4. They are building consumer awareness and reputation in each additional year of their existence, which is now more than 15 years, with favorable waiting times and hours.  As the Kalorama report indicates, high satisfaction ratings are routinely earned; and
  5. They are at the forefront of electronic medical records and technology in healthcare, introducing EMR, billing innovation and virtual waiting room technology that physician offices are only slowly adopting to.

As an example of companies aligning to the trend, Kalorama noted that some hospitals are founding retail clinics to take pressure off ERs, or to gain patients.  Others are developing retail clinic-like policies of hours or appointments.  Still others are figuring out how they can gain referrals from the trend, or adjust the care they provide to patients to retail clinic customers.
 

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