PHARMACY

NACDS, NCPA back senatorial MTM bill

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have voiced their support of the Senate medication therapy management bill, authored and introduced Tuesday by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., as it aims to further pave the way for enhanced pharmacist-provided MTM services.

Hagan’s Medication Therapy Management Expanded Benefits Act of 2010 would enhance pharmacist-provided MTM services for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries by opening MTM services to patients suffering from any chronic condition or disease. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is an original co-sponsor of the bill.

"By encouraging MTM services in neighborhood pharmacies, the bill would improve public health and reduce healthcare costs by helping patients to take their medications in the right ways and avoid complications with their drug therapies," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "Patients suffering from chronic disease, be it diabetes, hypertension, asthma or other conditions, will benefit from these pharmacy services, which also strengthen the pharmacist-patient relationship. We thank Senators Hagan and Franken for their commitment to improving health care in a way that stands to reduce costs and improve lives."

Added Douglas Hoey, NCPA acting EVP and CEO, "For many Medicare Part D patients, the challenges of coping with numerous chronic conditions and diseases require an expert’s consultation, and pharmacists are clinically trained in helping ensure their patients are getting the best possible results. The bill offered by Senators Hagan and Franken is the next logical step in broadening the reach of MTM. NCPA urges the Senate to move expeditiously to pass this bill, because true healthcare reform needs to incorporate all the best practices."

The bill is the Senate’s companion to H.R. 3108, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., last year and endorsed by NACDS and NCPA.

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Former Johnson & Johnson head dies at 94

BY Allison Cerra

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. A former leader of one of the largest health conglomerates in the world died Friday at 94.

Richard Sellars rose from junior salesman to chairman of the board and CEO during a career that spanned 40 years at Johnson & Johnson. Sellars joined Johnson & Johnson’s sales force in 1939, and began a rapid rise within two of the company’s major affiliates, Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. and Ethicon. He became president of the company in 1970, and chairman of the board one year later. In 1973, he became chairman and CEO, a position he held until his retirement from that post in 1976. From then until his retirement in 1979, Sellars served as chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s finance committee. One of his many accomplishments while at Johnson & Johnson was being part of the New Brunswick Tomorrow project to revitalize the city that held the company’s headquarters.

“Richard Sellars was an inspirational leader who filled all who met him with a deep sense of the company’s responsibility to its customers, employees, community and shareholders,” said William Weldon, chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson. “He will be missed.”

Sellars is survived by his wife, Doris, four children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

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Gilead to acquire CGI

BY Alaric DeArment

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences plans to acquire a development-stage pharmaceutical company for up to $120 million, Gilead said Friday.

Privately held CGI Pharmaceuticals has developed a library of drugs that have potential to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The majority of the $120 million will be an upfront payment, and the remaining will be based on clinical development progress, Gilead said.

“The acquisition of CGI represents a unique opportunity to expand our research efforts in an interesting and promising area of drug discovery,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said.

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