PHARMACY

NACDS recognizes U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan on behalf of pharmacy patient care

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Monday recognized U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) for her continued leadership on behalf of pharmacy patient care. Hagan, joined by seven U.S. Senate colleagues, sent a bipartisan letter of support for medication therapy management to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The letter urged inclusion of language in any end-of-year legislation that would allow seniors who suffer from any chronic disease to benefit from MTM services if the intervention could result in a cost savings to the Medicare program. Currently under Medicare Part D, seniors must have “multiple chronic conditions” and be prescribed “multiple medications” before they are eligible for MTM services.
 
“Only one-quarter of seniors currently has access to MTM, while many more can benefit from the service,” the letter stated. “Research shows that only 50% of patients properly adhere to their prescription drug therapy regimens, and poor adherence costs the nation approximately $290 billion a year, nearly 13% of total health expenditures.”
 
In the North Carolina “ChecKmeds” program, MTM helped 31,000 seniors optimize their drug therapy for a savings of $34 million — a return on investment of nearly 14-to-1.
 
“We believe the best way to make sure Americans use medications effectively is through professional services offered by pharmacists and other qualified healthcare providers, including ‘medication therapy management,’” the letter stated. “Evidence shows that MTM improves outcomes and reduces unnecessary medical costs.”
 
“As the sponsor of the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act, NACDS thanks Senator Hagan for her continued leadership and commitment to community pharmacy and patient care,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.  “Community pharmacies can provide MTM services to help patients manage their health, especially for those who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma or other conditions.” 

 

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FDA approves Novartis drug for Cushing’s disease

BY Alaric DeArment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat a rare but serious endocrine disorder.

Swiss drug maker Novartis announced the approval of Signifor (pasireotide), an injectable drug for treating Cushing’s disease in adults for whom pituitary surgery is not an option or has not been curative. Novartis said Signifor was the first drug to be approved in the United States that addresses the disease’s underlying mechanism.

The disease is a debilitating disorder that most commonly affects patients aged 20 to 50 and is caused by a benign pituitary tumor that leads to excessive amounts of the metabolic hormone cortisol, leading to weight gain, obesity, fatigue, weakness, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety.


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Takeda to sell URL Pharma to Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs

BY Alaric DeArment

OSAKA, Japan — Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical is selling its generics business to India-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Takeda said Monday.

Takeda said it would sell URL Pharma, through U.S. subsidiary Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, to Sun subsidiary Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs while retaining control of the gout treatment Colcrys (colchicine). Takeda acquired rights to Colcrys when it bought URL Pharma for $800 million in June 2012; financial terms of the current deal with Caraco were not disclosed.

"The addition of Colcrys has allowed Takeda to become a leader in gout, which is part of our strategy to focus on best-in-class, innovative pharmaceuticals," Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA president Douglas Cole. "URL Pharma has many great assets, and Takeda was committed to finding a buyer for the remaining business that would be dedicated to leveraging all that URL Pharma has to offer."

Colcrys had sales of $155 million between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2012, according to Takeda.


 

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