PHARMACY

FDA approves Impax’s generic extended-release Concerta

BY David Salazar
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Impax Laboratories’ generic of Concerta (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release tablets. The drug is indicated too treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in patients older than 6 years of age.
 
“Approval of our AB-rated generic version of Concerta further demonstrates the capabilities of Impax's R&D organization,” Impax president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. “We are preparing for launch including working to secure API quota and currently expect to launch by the end of this year. As a result, we don't anticipate sales of generic Concerta to meaningfully impact our earnings in 2017.”
 
Impax’s generic will be available in 18-, 27-, 36- and 54-mg dosage strengths. The drug had U.S. sales of approximately $1.8 billion for the 12 months ended May 2017, according to QuintilesIMS data. 
 

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Report: Jean Coutu criticizes government negotiations regarding dispensing fees

BY DSN STAFF

Jean Coutu founder Jean Coutu spoke out regarding negotiations with Quebec around dispensing fees, according to a report published last week by Canada's Bell Media. Jean Coutu earlier this year agreed to surrender $300 million in collected dispensing fees in return for smaller manufacturer rebates that cut into pharmacy operating margins. "It is an average of $100,000 for each of our locations," Coutu told shareholders BellMedia reported. "It was extremely difficult to digest." (Bell Media)

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NACDS finds support for TRICARE pilot among beneficiaries

BY David Salazar

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NACDS has commissioned a poll of TRICARE beneficiaries that found broad interest for the TRICARE Acquisition Cost Parity Pilot Program for Retail Pharmacy. The pilot, included in the 2017 federal budget plan, would allow TRICARE beneficiaries to get their prescriptions from retail pharmacies, rather than by mail order or through military treatment facilities.

The Morning Consult survey found that 6-in-10 TRICARE patients think the ability to fill scripts at retail pharmacies would positively impact their health, and 9-in-10 agree that it is important that military family and veteran benefits can be accessed at local and private establishments, rather than just military health facilities.

Additionally, 8-in-10 TRICARE beneficiaries support the ability to fill prescriptions at retail pharmacies, with 5-in-10 strongly supporting it.

The poll comes as 21 senators have urged Defense Sec. James Mattis to implement the pilot as soon as possible before the Oct. 1 deadline for its implementation. The senators, in their letter to Mattis, highlight the cost savings that would result from lower purchasing costs and reduced administrative costs the pilot would bring about.

“This pilot comes at an essential moment in the healthcare discussion and has the potential to be truly beneficial for our military families and veterans, while also reducing costs for the Department of Defense,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said when the senators sent their letter.

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