PHARMACY

NCPA addresses PDUFA reauthorization

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association has sent a letter to a Senate committee regarding legislation that would reauthorize the Prescription Drug User Fee Act.

In its letter to the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and ranking member Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., NCPA submitted recommendations to address the views of local pharmacists and NCPA responded to a "manager’s amendment" that would revise the legislation. The organization said its comments focused principally on prescription drug shortages and supply chain integrity.

"We believe the current pharmaceutical supply chain in the United States is safe and secure," NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey said. "As we strive to further strengthen security, there are a number of different approaches or tactics that could be employed. In addition, while most reported drug shortages to date have occurred in hospital settings, community pharmacies are also experiencing shortages, primarily in drugs that treat ADHD. The effects of these shortages could be mitigated by reforming the Drug Enforcement Agency’s quota system and by ensuring that pharmacy reimbursement rates are updated more frequently to reflect price spikes and keep pharmacies whole. In these and other areas, we look forward to continuing to work constructively with Congress as a PDUFA reauthorization is enacted into law this year."

To view the complete letter, click here.


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PHARMACY

Amgen to buy Turkish drug maker for $700 million

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Biotech drug maker Amgen is buying a pharmaceutical company based in Turkey, the companies said Wednesday.

Amgen said it would acquire 95.6% of Istanbul-based Mustafa Nevzat for $700 million in an all-cash deal, saying the purchase would allow it to expand in Turkey and the surrounding region. The company, also known as MN, is a major supplier of injectable drugs in Turkey and, increasingly, an exporter of medicines.

"Amgen is dedicated to making our innovative medicines available to patients in major markets around the world," Amgen president and CEO Robert Bradway said. "Together with MN’s staff and management team, we plan to grow our business with high-quality and innovative medicines in Turkey and the surrounding region."


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Walgreens outlines results of medication adherence studies

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens unveiled the results of research, conducted by the drug store chain, that demonstrated how its approach to community pharmacy ultimately helped improve outcomes through cost savings, pharmacist-led face-to-face patient counseling and specialized services for disease management.

New research results, presented by Walgreens at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s 24th Annual Meeting and Expo last week in San Francisco, included:

  • Prescription Savings Club membership drives medication adherence: The study, which assessed the impact of enrollment in Walgreens Prescription Savings Club on patient adherence to prescriptions used to treat diabetes, found that PSC members were nearly 10% more adherent to diabetes medications, compared with non-PSC members (77.9% versus 68%);

  • Impact of community pharmacist-led counseling on patient medication adherence: The pharmacist-led counseling for patients that were newly prescribed statin and thyroid medications resulted in an increase in one-year patient medication possession from 44% before the introduction of the program to 56% after the introduction of the program. Medication possession in a control group of patients of similar pharmacies without the program showed no significant increase in medication possession; and

  • Impact of HIV-specialized pharmacies on adherence to antiretroviral therapy: Walgreens HIV Centers of Excellence pharmacies, which offer specialized services for HIV patients aimed at combatting barriers to adherence, found that 62% of patients at such pharmacies had adherence of 85% or more, compared with 57% of patients using community pharmacies.

"At Walgreens, our number one priority is offering our patients innovative, accessible and personalized solutions to staying well," said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions. "And providing a support system to facilitate consistent adherence with prescribed medications is a key component of this. This research highlights how three initiatives — our Prescription Savings Club program, our face-to-face pharmacist disease management counseling, and our specialty pharmacy offerings — can all meaningfully help improve adherence. These types of offerings not only benefit our patients, but also the overall healthcare system by ultimately helping improve outcomes and potentially reduce costs."


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J.JANNP says:
Apr-28-2012 01:26 am

This investigate highlights how trine initiatives - our Medicine Fund Society system, our face-to-face chemist disease management counseling, and our specialty pharmacy offerings

R.Salvo says:
Apr-26-2012 09:08 am

One might ask how improved medication possession translates to adherence or improved outcomes. Is possession intended to be a proxy for adherence? If so, it's a questionale relationship. Overall, I do think these type of interventions work, but the data needs to flow from solid methodology. I'm not sure how solid this methodology really is.

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