Merck, Health Management Resources Corp. partner to form weight-management company
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Drug maker Merck is starting a new business designed to provide weight-management intervention services to employers, patients and healthcare professionals, the company said.
Merck announced the launch of HMR Weight Management Services Corp., which it said would provide weight-management interventions that combine a structured diet, behavior coaching and monitoring and physical activity to aid weight loss. Merck is working with Boston-based Health Management Resources Corp. to launch the new subsidiary, though HMR will continue to operate as an independent company.
"We’re excited to provide scalable weight-management interventions based on approaches that have shown consistent results in clinical trials and that have been effective in the battle against obesity," said Len Tacconi, who will head the new company as president.
HMR provides its programs through a network of licensed clinics in medical and academic centers and a remote-delivery program called Health Solutions at Home; according to a clinical study of the program, the median weight loss for participants was 23 pounds after 12 weeks, Merck said.
San Antonio-based pharmacy offers special services to personal injury victims
SAN ANTONIO — A Texas pharmacy is allowing personal injury victims to obtain drugs and medical supplies immediately through their attorneys.
Hill’s Drug Store, based in San Antonio, announced Sunday that it would begin offering personal injury attorney-collection for victims of accidents or illnesses, whereby the store collects payments for supplies from victims’ attorneys rather than the victims themselves. Hill’s, which describes itself as one of the city’s most comprehensive medical supply stores, said the program allows victims who have filed personal injury claims to obtain needed supplies — including drugs, wheelchairs and others — through legally binding agreements with attorneys’ offices called letters of protection, without having to immediately pay for them out of pocket.
Normally, when a victim files a claim, he often must wait months or even years to settle the case and receive payment, Hill’s said.
New England Compounding Center owners reach settlement
BOSTON — The owners of the compounding pharmacy linked to a nationwide meningitis outbreak that has killed dozens and sickened hundreds have agreed to set up a fund of more than $100 million to compensate victims and creditors.
Legal firm Brown Rudnick announced that the owners of the New England Compounding Center had reached a settlement with bankruptcy trustee Paul Moore, its creditors and the victims to set up the fund, money from which will be distributed to creditors as well as victims who received injections of tainted steroids from NECC.
"We are pleased that a significant amount of funds will become available for distribution for victims and their families as compensation for the deaths, injuries and suffering they endured as a result of this tragic meningitis outbreak," Moore said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700 people were diagnosed with fungal meningitis linked to the NECC, and 64 people have died. Based in Framingham, Mass., the NECC was involved in sterile compounding of injected drugs. An investigation of the pharmacy in the wake of the meningitis outbreak found widespread contamination and disregard for basic sanitation protocols. Nationwide outrage led to calls for stronger federal oversight over pharmacies that do sterile compounding, and in November, President Barack Obama signed into law the Drug Quality and Security Act, which subjects large-scale sterile compounding to federal regulations, while leaving regulation of non-sterile compounding of medicines for individual patients up to state boards of pharmacy.