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HDMA names DIANA winners

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — At the 2013 Business and Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, HDMA honored pharmaceutical and consumer product manufacturers during the presentation of the 2013 Distribution Industry Awards for Notable Achievements in Healthcare. 

“We are pleased to present these awards this year to honor our manufacturing trading partners, who go above and beyond to launch innovative products, foster strong relationships with HDMA distributor members and generously donate their time and efforts to our Association,” stated HDMA president and CEO John Gray. “We congratulate them on their achievements.” 

The HDMA Manufacturer Partner of the Year Award recognizes manufacturer members for their active participation in the Association. Selected by HDMA, winning companies have at least five consecutive years of membership, regularly participate in HDMA councils and committees, as well as show further support through conference and seminar attendance and sponsorships.    

The 2013 HDMA Manufacturer Partner of the Year Winners are:

  • HDMA Manufacturer Member With Sales to Healthcare Distributors of More Than $50 Million — TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA; and
  • HDMA Manufacturer Member With Sales to Healthcare Distributors of Less Than $50 Million — Amneal Pharmaceuticals.

2013 DIANA Winners:

  • Branded Pharmaceutical Products — Forest Pharmaceuticals for Tudorza Pressair Inhaler;
  • Generic Pharmaceutical Products — Heritage Pharmaceuticals for Cidofovir Injection;
  • Rx Support Systems, Supplies and Service Products — Broadway Industries for its Health Awareness Pharmacy Bags; and
  • Over-the-Counter and Home Healthcare Products — Merck Consumer Care for Dr Scholl’s Active Series Replacement Insoles.

Broadway Industries was named Best Overall Consumer Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of Less Than $10 Million. Best Overall Consumer Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of More Than $10 Million went to BD Medical. Alvogen was named Best Overall Generic Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of Less Than $100 Million and Actavis Pharma Best Overall Generic Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of More Than $100 Million. 

And Upsher-Smith Laboratories was named Best Overall Branded Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of Less Than $300 Million while Boehringer Ingelheim was awarded Best Overall Branded Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturer with Sales to Healthcare Distributors of More Than $300 Million.


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Logile introduces internal corporate communication tool to Giant Eagle

BY Michael Johnsen

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Logile on Tuesday announced today that Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle has fully implemented Logile’s Execution and Compliance Management solution across its supermarket banners, convenience stores, corporate office and retail support centers.

“Logile’s EC5 solution dramatically streamlines the planning, communication, execution and compliance of our corporate strategies and initiatives," stated Dave Redick, Giant Eagle VP retail business systems. "In less than three months, Logile’s EC5 system allowed us to eliminate nearly all email sent from the corporate office to our stores.” 

Feedback from Giant Eagle’s store leaders is that communication is now more timely, accurate and actionable. “Our collaboration with Logile, beginning with our deployment of the company’s Enterprise Labor Modeling solution and continuing with our implementation of its Execution and Compliance Management solution, has yielded tremendous benefits for us in both corporate planning and store level execution," Redick said. "Based on our successful track record, we are expanding our engagement to deliver new capabilities in the areas of food safety compliance and customer satisfaction and retention."


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Health plans should let customers fill specialty prescriptions at retail, N.Y. attorney general says

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The state attorney general of New York is urging health insurers to let patients buy specialty drugs through retail pharmacies instead of having to use mail-order.

In a letter sent to 15 New York-based health insurance plans, Eric Schneiderman said they should adopt "specialty prescription drug fulfillment hardship exception criteria" similar to the one the office helped negotiate earlier this year with Empire BlueCross BlueShield. The letters were sent to Aetna, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., CDPHP, Cigna, EmblemHealth, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Fidelis Care New York, Healthfirst, Healthnow New York, Independent Health, MVP Health Care, Oxford Health Plans, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, UnitedHealth Care and WellPoint.

"Every New Yorker deserves easy access to the benefits they pay for," Schneiderman said. "Those suffering from debilitating diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV should not be made to suffer further hardship to get prescription drugs that are critical to their care. Exempting beneficiaries with qualifying hardships from mandatory mail-order requirements will allow plan members to continue to get the drugs they need for their local pharmacies."

Following dozens of complaints to its helpline when Empire members received notification that they would have to obtain their drugs through mail-order via Express Scripts’ CuraScript specialty pharmacy starting on Jan. 1 in order to obtain coverage, the office’s healthcare bureau negotiated with the insurer, leading it to allow exemptions from the mandate. Under New York state law, a commercial health plan member can obtain any covered prescription at a retail pharmacy as long as the retail pharmacy agrees by contract to accept the same reimbursement terms as the mail-order or other non-retail pharmacy.

Last week, Anthem Blue Cross settled a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group representing several specialty pharmacies and their patients in California who had sued after receiving a similar notification in mid-November.


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J.Ward says:
Jun-12-2013 11:22 pm

No sale. Specialty pharmacies did not invent helping people obtain financing or expediting PA's. Our numbers don't add up to millions per month, but we consider these practices part of routine good business. It's not about specialty vs. community pharmacies. The real distinction is good vs. poor service. (BTW...your numbers are truly impressive! If you help people obtain millions per month, and you are helping 50% of your patients, conservatively I estimate your store must do roughly $50 million per year. That's a busy store.)

J.CIVITELLO says:
Jun-07-2013 08:30 am

I agree with this comment but only in part. Yes, specialty pharmacies do perform extra care duties like obtaining PA's and educating the patients about their meds, but the fact is that only certain specialty pharmacies are currently being used by the insurance companies. As an owner of a specialty pharmacy in New York whose client base includes HIV, HCV, and Oncology patients, our specialty pharmacy does not get equal access to service these patients. You are correct to say that specialty pharmacies provide a better clinical support and service to these patients, but if a specialty pharmacy meets the criteria to do so, then they should be included in these often closed networks. By doing so, you allow more access to patients to use a local specialty pharmacy and not have to wait for their meds to be delivered from some out of state mail order pharmacy.

mcrowe says:
Jun-05-2013 08:54 am

I am a pharmacist at Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy. Yes, there are some specialty pharmacies that provide very poor service to their patients as described in this story. And yes, I admit that I'm biased. However, there are benefits to using a specialty pharmacy that I don't believe are being considered here. The whole basis of the formation of specialty pharmacies is that the diseases specialized in are rare, the medications are extremely expensive, and most community-based pharmacists do not have enough experience in these diseases to be providing care for the patients. You cannot have every community pharmacy in the country maintaining an inventory of these medications. And, even if the community pharmacies can dispense a patient's specialty medication (many are not able to because the medication is limited distribution and not available to them), they are going to have to order it. Specialty pharmacies, when necessary, ship these medications next-day. And many specialty pharmacies provide services to patients that the community pharmacy cannot. I don't think the corner drug store pharmacy is going to collaborate with the physician to facilitate completing a prior authorization (PA), finding funding for a patient that cannot afford their medication, or file an appeal when a PA is rejected. At my specialty pharmacy we help thousands of patients get a PA for their much-needed medication and help obtain millions of dollars per MONTH so that patients can afford their medications. Again, even if a community pharmacy can dispense the medication, who is to say they have lowered the patient's out of pocket cost to something the patient can afford in the long-run. And who is to say the patient obtained all the necessary education from the pharmacy that cannot staff experts in specialty medications. Will optimal adherence be maintained? Overall, the use of the community pharmacy to provide specialty medications in order to increase access, may actually hinder patient access in the long run. There is a reason the specialty pharmacy model exists! In fact, there are many.

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