PHARMACY

Former NCPA executive joins GPhA

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The former top executive of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association may have gone to work for the National Community Pharmacists Association, but the generic drug industry trade group got one of the independent pharmacy group’s executives as well.

The GPhA announced the appointment of John Coster as SVP government affairs, effective Feb. 14. Coster previously worked at the NCPA and has worked on pharmacy and healthcare policy issues for more than 25 years. Former GPhA president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger was appointed as EVP and CEO of the NCPA in November 2010, after having left the GPhA last year.

The GPhA said its hiring of Coster was part of its 2011 strategic plan to expand its presence in Washington and advocate for generic drugs and follow-on biologics. Currently, the organization has not appointed a new president and CEO.

“John’s exceptional Hill experience and legislative expertise comes to us at a time when the cost-savings potential of generic pharmaceuticals has never been more important, both on the federal and state levels,” GPhA interim executive director Bob Billings said. “We are delighted to have this seasoned and respected professional on our team.”

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US WorldMeds introduces Alsuma

BY Alaric DeArment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — US WorldMeds has announced a new treatment for migraines, the drug maker said Wednesday.

The company announced the launch of Alsuma auto-injector (sumatriptan), which injects the drug sumatriptan under the skin via a single-use, prefilled auto injector. The company is selling the drug under a licensing agreement from King Pharmaceuticals.

“Migraine headaches continue to be a significant problem for more than 30 million Americans, nearly half of whom are undiagnosed,” said Dennis O’Brien, president of King subsidiary Meridian Medical Technologies. “Alsuma is a natural extension of King’s existing portfolio of acute drug-delivery products.”

The U.S. market for sumatriptan was about $203 million during the 12-month period ended in March 2010, according to IMS Health.

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NACDS supports repeal of 1099 reporting mandate

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An amendment to remove certain reporting requirements from the 1099 business tax form is winning praise from the retail pharmacy chain lobby.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced Wednesday its support for an amendment introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., that would repeal an expansion of reporting requirements that it said would burden businesses, including retail pharmacies, with thousands of additional tax forms.

“If this provision were implemented, the 1099 reporting mandate would impose substantial paperwork and reporting burdens on the backs of nonprofits and businesses,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson wrote in a letter to Stabenow. “In order to comply, these entities would have to institute new and complex record-keeping data collection and reporting requirements that track every purchase by vendor and payment method."

"Further," Anderson added, "these burdensome requirements would restrict a pharmacist’s access to his or her patients by imposing added paperwork, limiting the interaction that has proven so beneficial to assure patients take medications in the most effective way to reduce costs and improve health.”

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