PHARMACY

Medco, Verizon developed mobile app

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Telecommunications provider Verizon Wireless and pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions have unveiled a mobile application that the companies said would allow patients and their doctors to instantly find the lowest-cost prescription drugs to meet their health needs and identify potentially harmful drug interactions.

The new Medco Pharmacy mobile app for Verizon Wireless Android and BlackBerry smartphones, is available for download from Verizon. The app provides information about out-of-pocket costs for any prescription drug and lower-cost options specific to a patient’s drug plan, as well as drug-interaction alerts based on the patient’s prescription history, including for patients treated by several doctors or who fill prescriptions at multiple pharmacies.

The app consists of three features: My Rx Choices, which delivers on-demand, personalized out-of-pocket costs, interactions and other information for any prescription drug; My Medicine Cabinet, which allows patients to view the medications they’re on, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and set reminders for themselves; and Prescription ID Card, which allows convenient access to a member’s prescription drug card.

“Wireless devices are a part of the lifestyle as we know it today, and millions of people rely on their BlackBerry and Android smartphones for instant information,” Verizon Wireless VP sales Mike Ross said. “Reliability is paramount to not only medical formation, but for a network too. Our combined technologies will give users a powerful tool that can help them manage their medical care.”

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PHARMACY

Pradaxa granted preferred formulary status through AARP’s Prescription Solutions

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — A drug for cardiovascular disease made by Boehringer Ingelheim has received preferred formulary status with AARP’s Medicare Part D plans, the drug maker said Thursday.

BI announced that Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) received preferred Tier 2 formulary status through AARP’s pharmacy benefit manager, Prescription Solutions. The Food and Drug Administration approved Pradaxa in October 2010 to reduce the risk of stroke and embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

“The addition of Pradaxa to the nation’s largest Part D plans helps ensure that many more NVAF patients have access to this important medication, which in a clinical study has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of stroke compared to warfarin,” Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals VP cardiovascular and metabolic disorders marketing Wa’el Hashad said. “Pradaxa is now on formulary with AARP, Medco, Express Scripts and several more of the nation’s largest managed care providers.”

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PHARMACY

Assured Pharmacy reports spike in Q1 net sales

BY Allison Cerra

FRISCO, Texas — Specialty pharmacy provider Assured Pharmacy said first-quarter net sales jumped to $4.4 million for the period ended March 31, an increase of 22.4% from the year-ago quarter.

The 22.4% increase in sales for the quarter primarily was attributed to an increase in the number of prescriptions dispensed during the period, Assured said.

Meanwhile, basic and diluted net loss per share was 12 cents for first quarter 2011 — thanks to the increased sales and reduced operating expenses, as a result of cost-control initiatives — a 78.9% improvement  compared with a net loss of 57 cents per share in the same period in 2010.

"We are pleased with our strong year-over-year performance for the first quarter. The improved results reflect continued progress in the implementation of our strategies and provide further validation of our business model as we move forward to the expansion phase of our business cycle," said Robert DelVecchio, Assured Pharmacy CEO.

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