PHARMACY

GPhA: Generic drug utilization can curb wasteful Medicaid spending

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON A reported excess of a quarter billion dollars is a good case for increasing use of generic drugs under the Medicaid program, according to the main lobby for the generic drug industry.

 

Responding to a report by conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute that identified $271 million in wasteful Medicaid spending, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association said it was a “compelling case” for increasing generic drug utilization.

 

 

“This new and compelling report offers further proof that state governments benefit greatly when substituting safe, effective and affordable generic drugs for brand-name drugs,” a statement by the GPhA read. “We know that generic medicines cost up to 80% less than their brand-name counterparts. This new study shows that with state governments spending billions of dollars on prescription medicines for Medicaid beneficiaries, the simple solution of substituting generic equivalents for name-brand drugs would save nearly $100 per prescription for the top 20 most dispensed drugs – or an estimated $271 million annually.”

 

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Reaching out to new CMS administrator Berwick, NACDS highlights pro-patient, pro-pharmacy goals

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is moving quickly to establish a working relationship with newly installed Medicare and Medicaid chief Donald Berwick.

NACDS on Wednesday sent a letter to Berwick, who was tapped by President Obama to serve as the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson urged continued collaboration with CMS on issues related to pharmacy that he said are vital to quality health care and cost reduction.

“NACDS and its member companies are committed to improving patient adherence to their prescription drug regimens,” Anderson told Berwick. “We strongly believe that access to neighborhood pharmacies and pharmacist-provided care can improve health outcomes for patients and reduce costs.”

Anderson also pointed to issues of major concern to retail pharmacy, including fair reimbursement for prescription and pharmacy services, pharmacy’s role in a medical home and the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse. He pledged NACDS’ support in working with the new CMS chief on ongoing efforts to reduce fraud and waste in the healthcare system.

“We look forward to working with you on these and other issues that impact chain pharmacies and the patients they serve,” the letter concluded.

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Eli Lilly acquires Alnara

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS Drug maker Eli Lilly has finished its acquisition of a company developing a pancreatic disorder treatment.

Lilly announced Tuesday that it had finished acquiring Alnara Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company, in a deal announced July 2. Lilly acquired Alnara for an upfront payment of $180 million, and Alnara stockholders could receive up to $200 million in additional milestone payments based on product performance.

Alnara is developing liprotamase, a pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy under review by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a disease resulting from cystic fibrosis, removal of the pancreas, chronic pancreatitis and other conditions.

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