PHARMACY

HDMA supports national pharmaceutical traceability legislation

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Saturday added its voice supporting national pharmaceutical traceability legislation (Drug Quality and Security Act/H.R. 3204). 

“Now that the House of Representatives has passed legislation to strengthen the security of the pharmaceutical supply chain, only the Senate’s imminent vote stands in the way of establishing a federal uniform traceability framework for prescription medicines," stated John Gray, HDMA president and CEO. "For nearly a decade, HDMA has worked to replace the 50-state patchwork of rules and regulations with a federal solution that ensures regulatory clarity and consistency, helps prevent counterfeits, discourages gray market activities and enhances the safety and security of the pharmaceutical supply chain for all Americans."

"This is the right approach to further strengthen our pharmaceutical supply chain, help ensure safe, efficient delivery of medicines and protect patients from threats associated with counterfeit and diverted products," the association added in a letter to several Congressional leaders, coupling its voice with a host of industry associations supporting the legislation

"In the absence of a national solution, the complexities of the current 50-state patchwork present a significant challenge to all supply chain partners and threaten to create weak links in the supply chain that will jeopardize patient safety," the association concluded.

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PHARMACY

Retail pharmacies lead mail-order in customer satisfaction ratings, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Customer satisfaction with retail pharmacies has increased faster than mail-order pharmacies despite the perceived cost competitiveness of the latter, according to a new study.

J.D. Power released its 2013 Pharmacy Study Monday, showing that satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacies was 837 points, up 23 points from last year. During the same period, satisfaction with mail-order pharmacies increased from 792 to 797. The study was based on responses from more than 13,500 pharmacy customers between July and August who filled or refilled a prescription the three months before the survey period.

"For the most part, the widening gap in satisfaction has more to do with improved satisfaction in the brick-and-mortar segment than declining satisfaction in mail order," J.D. Power director of healthcare practice Scott Hawkins said. "For mail-order pharmacies, it’s important to combine high-tech with high-touch. Not only does the online experience need to keep technological pace with other retail sites that pharmacy customers visit, but customer service opportunities that provide personal connections are essential as well."

In terms of cost advantage, mail-order had a seven-point advantage over brick-and-mortar in 2011, but a 20-point disadvantage in 2013. Meanwhile, the percentage of customers who indicated that they refilled prescriptions at a brick-and-mortar pharmacy increased to 61%, from 58% a year ago. Among drug chains, Good Neighbor Pharmacy ranked highest among chain drug stores, while Target ranked highest among mass-merchandisers, and Publix topped the supermarket segment. Kaiser Permanente Mail Pharmacy ranked highest in mail-order.

 

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PHARMACY

Mylan launches generic anti-fungal drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan has launched the first generic version of a drug used to treat fungal infections, the company said Monday.

The drug maker announced the launch of voriconazole for oral suspension in the 40-mg-per-mL strength. The drug is the first generic version of Pfizer’s Vfend, and as the first company to receive approval for a generic version, Mylan has 180 days in which to compete exclusively against Pfizer’s product. The drug is used to treat invasive fungal infections.

The drug had sales of $17.1 million during the 12-month period that ended in June, according to IMS Health.

 

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