PHARMACY

Former Mercer executive named president of CVS Caremark’s Accordant business

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has appointed Kevin Murphy president for Accordant Health Services, a CVS Caremark company that provides disease management and case management services for people with rare chronic conditions.

Murphy is in charge of integrating the company’s leading rare disease management programs with its specialty pharmacy programs and new focus on medical pharmacy management.

"Kevin Murphy’s in-depth experience in specialty pharmacy, knowledge of the industry and strong client management background make him uniquely qualified to lead the Accordant business," stated Troyen A. Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark.  "His expertise will enable us to further enhance our offerings focused on disease management for complex chronic diseases and identify innovative approaches to help these patients on their path to better health."

Murphy brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, strategy and product development to CVS Caremark. He joined the company from Mercer, where he was a partner in the human resource consulting practice. Previously, Murphy led the market, strategy and development organization of Accredo, Medco’s specialty pharmacy division.  While at Medco, as well as in a previous position with Physicians Health Services, Murphy held various leadership roles in sales, marketing, and product development.


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PHARMACY

Walgreens retains network covering almost 3 million lives

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — EmblemHealth and Walgreens have reached an agreement that allows EmblemHealth and Connecticare members to continue to have access to the Walgreens pharmacy network in 2012, the companies announced Thursday.

EmblemHealth, through its companies Group Health Incorporated and HIP Health Plan of New York, provides healthcare coverage and administrative services to approximately 2.9 million people, the company said. 

"This agreement ensures that EmblemHealth and Connecticare members will have convenient and timely access to their medications near their homes or when they travel around the country, and is evidence of the commitment Walgreens has in working with health plans and other payers to continue serving our patients and customers," said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health-and-wellness solutions and services.

 

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Report: Pfizer seeks aid of PBMs in efforts to block generic versions of Lipitor

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — When its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor loses patent protection this month, Pfizer is hoping that pharmacy benefit managers will not dispense a generic version of the drug to its customers, according to published reports.

Pharmacy benefit managers Medco and Catalyst have agreed to block generic versions of Lipitor from reaching their customers until the end of May 2012, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, the company reportedly is in talks with Express Scripts to have the PBM also block generic versions from reaching customers as well.

According to Medco, however, its Lipitor strategy "delivers to [its] clients and members the option that maximizes value through the exclusivity period and reinforces our commitment to generics as a means of lowering costs of providing high-quality care." In a document sent to Drug Store News, Medco said the strategy, which will be adopted by more than 99% of its clients, has the following elements:

  • Retail pharmacies will be able to dispense generic Lipitor and will not be restricted from dispensing the generic;

  • To ensure adequate supplies immediately upon patent expiration, Medco will use Lipitor as its “house generic” (e.g., branded Lipitor will be dispensed as the generic product); and

  • In all cases, members with prescriptions that allow for generic substitution will pay the generic co-payments and clients will pay the same amount as specified by their contracts, independent of whether the generic or the branded Lipitor used as the “house generic” is dispensed.

Pfizer’s efforts are despite the fact that the drug maker said earlier this month that it is considering the switch to an over-the-counter formulation for Lipitor.

Meanwhile, Watson is slated to market an authorized generic of the drug, which is a branded drug sold under its generic name at a reduced price, usually through a third-party company, as a way of creating a third front of competition against the actual generic.


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