NACDS, NCPA urge rejection of administration’s Tricare plan in favor of more ‘balanced’ alternatives
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association announced that they have sent joint letters to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, encouraging the rejection of an Obama administration proposal that would “saddle Tricare beneficiaries with higher prices and penalize their utilization of community pharmacists.”
Under the Obama administration’s proposal, Tricare beneficiaries would pay 30% of the cost of their medications at a retail pharmacy without capping annual cost sharing, while mail-order prescriptions would include far lower out-of-pocket costs. The administration’s plan also would increase costs by ending the incentive for drug manufacturers to offer additional price concessions to the Department of Defense beyond those required by law, as the Tricare program would equalize cost sharing between preferred and nonpreferred medicines.
In the letters, NACDS and NCPA urged the committees to abandon that proposal and instead support other “balanced” policy alternatives to increase generic drug utilization, which would reduce costs without restricting patient access to healthcare professionals.
“Rather than instituting changes that unfairly penalize beneficiaries and drive up prescription drug costs, we urge you to increase generic dispensing rates in both the TRICARE retail and mail-order settings,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey wrote. “We feel strongly that a greater reliance on mail order will not only fail to produce the needed savings, but will also compromise patient care, increase waste and penalize those who wish to have their prescriptions filled at their local pharmacy.”
NACDS and NCPA noted that generic drug use in Tricare continues to lag behind other healthcare programs. The program could save $11 billion over 10 years by working with community pharmacists to maximize the appropriate use of generics and by holding its PBM accountable for generic drug dispensing rates, particularly at mail order. The associations believe that this cost savings should be considered as Congress prepares the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and deficit reduction proposals.
The US postal system is broken and may even close Sat deliveries...other carriers will do it at a greater price so not to go bankrupt. why do down with a sinking ship ???? November 2012 is too far away to continue with this incompetency.
Par completes acquisition of Anchen
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Par Pharmaceutical has completed its acquisition of Anchen Pharmaceuticals, the generic drug maker said.
Par announced plans in August to acquire Irvine, Calif.-based Anchen for $410 million, consisting of a loan and cash it already had.
A privately owned company, Anchen has about 200 employees and more than 72,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and warehouse space, Par said.
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FDA revokes breast cancer approval for Avastin
SILVER SPRING, Md. — A drug widely used to treat breast cancer is not safe or effective, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.
The FDA announced that it would revoke the agency’s approval of Genentech’s Avastin (bevacizumab) for breast cancer. The drug’s approval for cancers of the colon, lungs, kidney and brain will remain in place. The agency proposed withdrawing the approval in December 2010, just months after an advisory committee recommended limiting its use for breast cancer, after reviewing results from four clinical studies indicating that the drug "does not prolong overall survival in breast cancer patients or provide a sufficient benefit in slowing disease progression to outweigh the significant risk to patients."
"This was a difficult decision," FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. "FDA recognizes how hard it is for patients and their families to cope with metastatic breast cancer and how great a need there is for more effective treatments. But patients must have confidence that the drugs they take are both safe and effective for their intended use."
The agency approved Avastin for breast cancer that had spread to other parts of the body in February 2008, under the agency’s accelerated approval program. But Friday’s decision, based on thousands of pages from a public docket, from clinical trials and from a two-day hearing in June — scheduled at the request of Genentech when the company was informed that the agency was considering revoking the breast-cancer approval — resulted in the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voting unanimously in favor of withdrawal.
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