PHARMACY

Kudos to LegitScript for uncovering a lot of ‘BS’

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Internet.bs, huh? Hmm … wonder what the BS stands for?

(THE NEWS: At least one-third of rogue pharmacies under one domain name registrar, report finds. For the full story, click here)

LegitScript, a company that verifies online pharmacies, went undercover, saying that it was interested in having Internet.bs host its illegal online pharmacies.

LegitScript did everything it could think of to show the illegality of its “Pay-Rx.biz,” and yet Internet.bs was glad to take the business. Heck, it even provided the president’s personal cell phone number. Talk about great customer service.

Well, kudos to LegitScript for getting to the bottom of this!

According to LegitScript, Internet.bs, one of about 450 domain name registrars accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, accounts for 0.2% of the total registered domains online, but between 32.9% and 44% of the rogue online pharmacy domains, not including the ones that LegitScript registered. Another registrar, ABSystems, has an additional 17.3% of rogue pharmacy domain names.

If any one of the individuals involved with Internet.bs or ABSystems sets foot in the United States, perhaps a fitting punishment would be to lock them up and force them to take the crap drugs it was trying to sell to innocent people.

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PHARMACY

Affordable Care Act helped seniors, people with disabilities save more than $3 billion on Rxs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — More than 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare saved billions on prescription drugs, thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

New data found that these individuals saved more than $3.2 billion on prescription drugs, while savings for seniors included a one-time $250 rebate check to those who hit the "donut hole" coverage gap in 2010 and a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs in the donut hole in 2011.

"Without the healthcare law, more than 5.1 million seniors would have faced $3.2 billion in higher drug costs," Secretary Sebelius said. "As we move forward, seniors will save even more as the new law completely eliminates the Medicare donut hole."

Meanwhile, about 103,000 seniors and people with disabilities saved $93 million in the donut hole through the first two months of 2012, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This year, Medicare beneficiaries will receive a 50% discount from manufacturers on covered brand-name drugs and a 14% savings on generic drugs in the donut hole, according to HHS and CMS, which noted that The Affordable Care Act expands these discounts over time until the donut hole is closed in 2020.

"Already this year, tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities are starting to see increased savings as they enter the donut hole," CMS acting administrator Marilyn Tavenner said. "The Affordable Care Act has made prescription drugs more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries, protecting the health and pocketbooks of millions of America’s seniors."


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PHARMACY

Watson challenges Abbott patent on Niaspan

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals is challenging the patent protection on a drug made by Abbott for treating cholesterol, the company said.

Watson, through a subsidiary, filed with the Food and Drug Administration for approval of niacin extended-release tablets in the 500-mg and 1,000-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Abbott’s Niaspan.

Abbott filed a lawsuit against Watson Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to try and prevent Watson from commercializing its drug before the expiration of two of Abbott’s patents, set to take place in May 2017 and March 2018, according to the FDA. Under the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, the law that created an abbreviated approval pathway for generic pharmaceuticals, the lawsuit puts a stay of final FDA approval on Watson’s drug that will last for 30 months or until the two companies reach a settlement.

Niaspan had sales of about $1.2 billion during the 12-month period ended in January, according to IMS Health.


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