Medco School of Pharmacy to open at Fairleigh Dickinson
MADISON, N.J. — Pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions is donating $5 million toward the construction of a new school of pharmacy in New Jersey.
Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Medco announced that the Medco School of Pharmacy at Fairleigh Dickinson University would be New Jersey’s first pharmacy school affiliated with an independent university. The school will admit 85 students per year.
“For the last decade, Medco has pioneered new pharmacy practice models, with a particular focus on personalized medicine and specialized care for patients with chronic conditions in an effort to improve the overall health of our members and reduce costs for payers,” Medco chairman and CEO David Snow said. “We are proud to work with Fairleigh Dickinson University in the opening of the Medco School of Pharmacy and to offer our experiences and expertise in support of a new generation of pharmacy school graduates who will be able to apply their education across a wide range of healthcare fields.”
Salix, Progenics ink licensing deal for Relistor
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — Salix Pharmaceuticals and Progenics Pharmaceuticals have entered a licensing agreement for a drug used to treat side effects of opioid use.
The two companies signed the agreement for Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide), an injected drug used to treat opioid-induced constipation in patients for whom laxatives haven’t worked.
Under the agreement, Salix will license rights to the drug worldwide, except for in Japan, where Progenics has an agreement with Ono Pharmaceuticals. Salix will pay Progenics $60 million upfront and $90 million in milestone payments, as well as up to $200 million in royalties on sales and 60% of all revenue received from non-U.S. sublicensees.
Worldwide net sales of the drug were $16 million in 2010, according to the companies.
Kerr Drug supports Sen. Hagan’s MTM legislation
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two pharmacy trade groups already have given their blessings to legislation that would support medication therapy management, and a retail pharmacy chain that has made MTM part of its mission is following suit.
Kerr Drug announced its support for the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2011, which Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., recently introduced. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association endorsed the bill last week.
Speaking before the Senate Thursday, Hagan argued that medication therapy management services could reduce healthcare costs, which already have climbed to about $290 billion.
“We have proven MTM programs in North Carolina with Medicare seniors and employers that save upwards of $8 for every dollar invested in the program,” Kerr Drug VP pharmacy and government relations Mark Gregory said. “[MTM] programs have strengthened the patient and pharmacist relationship, and in many cases have afforded patients a better quality of life.”
Medication therapy management involves pharmacists taking an active role in management of patients’ health care, reviewing medication regimens for interactions, looking for generic alternatives and advising patients on how to take their medications. It first received official recognition with the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.
“The most effective and cost-effective way to ensure seniors take their medication properly is through the counseling of a pharmacist,” Kerr Drug CEO Tony Civello said. “The evidence shows pharmacists can improve patient health and save healthcare dollars because pharmacists are often the most accessible healthcare provider for patients.”