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GSK can ship four-strain flu vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — The Food and Drug Administration has approved for shipment the latest version of a GlaxoSmithKline flu vaccine, the drug maker said Monday.

The FDA approved the Fluarix Quadrivalent (influenza virus vaccine) for the 2013-2014 season for shipment to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distribution centers and healthcare providers. GSK said this would be the first season in which vaccines protecting against more than three strains will be available.

"Quadrivalent" means the vaccine protects against four strains. Most flu vaccines are trivalent, protecting against two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain, while the new vaccine protects against an additional B strain.

"Trivalent influenza vaccines offer important protection against influenza," GSK Vaccines VP scientific affairs and public policy for North America Leonard Friedland said. "But since the late 1980s, scientists noted that two B virus lineage strains circulate to varying degrees each year, and it’s difficult to predict which one will cause the most illness in a particular influenza season."

 

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Ninety days at retail — it’s just ‘smart’

BY Michael Johnsen

Express Scripts and Walgreens last week announced the launch of Smart90 Walgreens, a new option for Express Scripts clients interested in 90-day prescription drug programs and to help drive lower costs. The program is expected to improve medication adherence by both providing a cost value to the patient while maintaining what has more and more become a crucial patient-pharmacist face-to-face encounter. 

What a difference a year makes. Far removed from its squabbles over reimubursement, the two companies partner on a new program that reinforces the value that retail pharmacy provides and the innovative ways that retail and mail can work together to create solutions that help get patients on, and keep them on, their medications.

Participation incentives are built in. Both the patient and payer save money on this kind of program — the patient by way of lower co-pays and the payer by way of fewer hospital visits because of that aforementioned improved patient adherence. In a word, it’s "smart," which is probably why Express Scripts and Walgreens decided to incorporate that descriptor into the program’s moniker.   

It also may set the stage for how 90-day fills will be fulfilled in the future. 

CVS Caremark promotes the similarly structured Maintenance Choice program — a limited network model where patients can obtain maintenance medications from either a CVS retail pharmacy or a CVS Caremark mail-order pharmacy. And the chain recently announced its Maintenance Choice 2.0 offering, which offers 90-day across a less-restrictive or voluntary plan design option. 

According to a DSN report in June, the Maintenance Choice program boasts approximately 16.3 million lives covered by more than 1,200 plans, up from 10.5 million in the year-ago period. 

Between CVS Caremark, and now Walgreens and Express Scripts, that’s a lot of lives that will benefit from medication adherence communication. And that’s more than just smart, it’s critical. Because it’s a factor that could take a bite out of the more than $200 billion that non-adherence costs the healthcare system on an annual basis, according to the latest IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report

 

 

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Dana Classic Fragrances names CEO

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Dana Classic Fragrances, whose signature brands include Tabu, Chantilly, Love’s Baby Soft and English Leather, announced on Monday that former Avon executive Terrence Moorehead has been named CEO.

Moorehead brings extensive fragrance and cosmetics industry experience earned during his 22-year tenure at Avon. During his time at Avon, Moorehead served as president and chairman of Avon Japan; president of Avon Canada; VP strategy and digital transformation for North America; and GM of Avon Italy. Prior to joining Avon in 1991, Moorehead served as a management consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Moorehead to Dana Classic Fragrances and to the Patriarch family,” said Lynn Tilton, founder and CEO of Patriarch Partners, whose investment funds are majority owners of the company. “Terrence is a seasoned executive with a proven track record of success and leadership in the cosmetics industry. We look forward to expanding Dana’s existing signature brands, launching new fragrances and building new business opportunities under his leadership.”

 

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