King announces accelerated plan; will cut workforce by 20%
BRISTOL, Tenn. King Pharmaceuticals has announced that it will speed up a planned strategic shift to maximize its long-term growth.
The goal includes a plan to decrease its general and administrative expenses, especially after the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the continued validity of the patent for the drug Altace.
The company estimates that it can save anywhere from $75 to $95 million, but it also anticipates to incur a one time charge of about $70 million. King announced that among its actions will be a workforce reduction of 20 percent.
Joseph Squicciarino, chief financial officer of King Pharma stated, “We believe the expense reduction measures announced today will enable us to continue generating strong cash flow to invest in our pipeline and business development opportunities, further strengthening our neuroscience and hospital or acute care platforms.”
SureScripts, First Health ink pact, boosting doctors’ e-Rx data tools
ALEXANDRIA, Va. SureScripts, the pharmacy-sanctioned provider of electronic prescribing linkup services between pharmacists and physicians, has signed a new operating agreement with a major pharmacy benefit manager that should forge closer ties between prescribing physicians and more than a dozen state Medicaid programs.
SureScripts signed the new service pact with First Health Services, a national Medicaid fee-for-service and managed health care company serving payers in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The deal could accelerate the rollout of e-prescribing because it will offer doctors in 13 states and D.C. electronic access to medication history and formulary and eligibility information on the Medicaid patients they serve.
In line with the pact, First Health has begun testing and certification of its Pharmaceutical Services point-of-sale system to share data with physicians over the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, operated by SureScripts. Once complete, First Health will become a SureScripts Certified Solution Provider.
“This will enable state Medicaid programs using First Health Services’ point-of-sale processing system to offer physicians who are providing care to a Medicaid patient secure, electronic access to that patient’s medication history, as well as to formulary and eligibility information in real time, during an office visit,” noted the two companies in a joint statement.
First Health manages pharmaceutical services for Medicaid programs in Alaska, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In 2008 the company will also begin to support the Pharmaceutical Services for the Florida Medicaid program.
“The collaboration with SureScripts provides secured access to real-time critical patient information for program recipients that is needed to enhance fiscal controls, reduce fraud and abuse, and promote quality care,” said Peter Quinn, chief operating officer for First Health.
According to First Health, putting information about a patient’s drug coverage at a prescribing physician’s fingertips eliminates many of the questions that often require pharmacists and PBMs to make multiple phone calls to a physician’s office every day.
Caraco launches generic Trileptal
DETROIT Caraco Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic version of Novartis’ Trileptal, on behalf of Sun Pharmaceuticals, who recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the generic version.
The generic, oxcarbazepine, is used for monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial seizures in adults as well as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in children aged 4 years and older with epilepsy.
Trileptal had sales of about $640 million for the year ended June 30, 2007, according to IMS data. The generic will be available in three strengths, 150 mg, 300 mg and 600 mg.