PHARMACY

Mission, EffRx sign agreement for osteoporosis drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN ANTONIO — A U.S. drug maker has made a deal with a Swiss company to manufacture and sell a new osteoporosis treatment in North America.

Mission Pharmacal announced Tuesday a patent and technology licensing agreement with Freienbach, Switzerland-based EffRx Pharmaceuticals for Binosto (alendronate sodium) effervescent tablets in the United States and Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last month for osteoporosis in men and  postmenopausal women. The companies plan to make the drug available later this year. The drug is a strawberry-flavored effervescent tablet designed to rapidly dissolve in water.

"Binosto provides an important new innovation for patients with osteoporosis," National Osteoporosis Foundation president Robert Recker said. "Binosto offers those patients that struggle with taking tablets the opportunity to obtain the proven fracture prevention of alendronate in an easy-to-take, buffered solution."


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PHARMACY

BioPlus launches application for physicians

BY Alaric DeArment

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — A specialty pharmacy provider has launched an application that it said will reduce the administrative burden of reimbursement, writing prescriptions, monitoring adherence and reviewing drug lists.

BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy announced the launch of TAP App, short for Therapy Access Portal, designed to allow physicians to monitor patients from initial intake through benefit verification and shipping, and make data on adherence issues, medication possession ratios, adverse drug reactions and other issues more easily available.

"Our new TAP App for physicians is right in line with [the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s] suggestion of leveraging technology to eliminate medication errors," BioPlus president and CEO Stephen Vogt said. "Aside from the obvious benefit to patients’ health, diminishing medical errors lowers costs, especially in light of a study earlier this year in the journal Health Affairs [that found] that the estimated total cost of measurable medical errors in the United States is $17.1 billion annually, with the most frequent medical injuries being adverse events associated with medications."

According to the AHRQ, between 28% and 95% of harmful side effects can be prevented by using computerized monitoring systems to reduce medication errors, while computerized ordering of medications potentially could prevent up to 84% of dose, frequency and route errors.

 


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PHARMACY

More than $2 billion added to workers’ compensation pharmacy costs, report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Workers’ compensation pharmacy costs took on an extra $2.1 billion in 2011 due to unnecessary use of more expensive drugs, according to a new report by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

In its 2011 Express Scripts "Workers’ Compensation Drug Trend Report," the PBM found that use of higher-cost medications when therapeutically equivalent, lower-cost alternatives were available accounted for nearly all of the $2.1 billion in wasted pharmacy-related spending last year for payers that implement and optimize workers’ compensation pharmacy benefit management programs. About 125 million people are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the United States, and about 4.2 million suffer from a work-related injury or illness each year, according to ESI.

The drugs with the highest annual cost per user in 2011 were narcotic analgesics, which accounted for 38% of drug spending and 34% of utilization, and the top six therapy classes — which also included anticonvulsants, anti-inflammatory and dermatological medications — accounted for 76.2% of total drug spending.


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