PHARMACY

NACDS applauds Senate efforts to delay tamper-resistant prescription paper deadline

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Tuesday applauded the Senate passage of a bill that will delay the use of tamper-resistant prescription paper for Medicaid prescriptions.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, Senators Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich (D and R-Ohio, respectively), introduced their legislation, which provides a six-month delay to the Oct. 1 implementation date requiring all Medicaid prescriptions to be written on tamper-resistant prescription paper.

The anti-fraud legislation was created as a provision in an Iraq war bill, which was passed in May. The NACDS has said that though it supports efforts to curb fraud and abuse, they also believe that four months is not enough time for physicians across the country to comply with such a widespread change. As a result, the NACDS applauded the Senate’s efforts to impede the new policy.

NACDS also said that after working with the National Community Pharmacy Association to address the change, they found that more than 535,000 Medicaid physicians validated the concern that many are not aware of this requirement or what they need to do to be in compliance.

“Pharmacists take great pride in their work and serving their patients,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “The possibility of pharmacists being forced to turn away patients from receiving their medication is an unacceptable risk and one that pharmacists should not have to make.”

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Mylan makes tender offers as part of its purchase of Merck’s generic pharmaceutical business

BY Adam Kraemer

PITTSBURGH Mylan Laboratories announced that it is commencing tender offers to purchase for cash any and all of its outstanding 5.750% Senior Notes due 2010 and 6.375% Senior Notes due 2015.

Mylan is making the tender offers as part of a broader strategy to establish its new global capital structure and in preparation for the consummation of its previously announced proposed acquisition of Merck’s generic pharmaceutical business. The share purchase agreement between Mylan and Merck Generics Holding GmbH, Merck S.A., Merck Internationale Beteiligung GmbH and Merck KGaA was dated May 12, 2007.

In conjunction with the tender offers, Mylan is also soliciting consents from the notes’ holders eliminate substantially all of the restrictions and rules governing the notes. Holders, therefore, cannot tender their notes without delivering their consent and cannot deliver a consent without tendering their notes.

Each of the tender offers will expire at 12:00 a.m. EST on September 28, 2007, unless any tender offer is extended at the sole discretion of Mylan.

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Suit vs. big drug wholesaler can go forward, judge rules

BY Jim Frederick

NEW YORK A class-action suit against McKesson Corp. can go forward, a federal judge has ruled, allowing consumers in the suit to pursue claims that the health care service and drug distribution giant engaged in a pricing fraud.

According to a report from the Reuters news agency, U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris certified the suit after concluding that the plaintiffs in the case had a “persuasive argument” in alleging that McKesson and First Databank together set an artificially high average wholesale price for drugs reimbursed by Medicaid and private insurers. Among the plaintiff class are consumers who made co-payments on branded prescription drugs between 2001 and 2005, according to the report.

McKesson does not comment on pending litigation.

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