PHARMACY

NCPA endorses Purcell for Georgia insurance commissioner

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association expressed its support Tuesday for the candidacy of Gerry Purcell as the next Georgia insurance commissioner.

NCPA executive committee member and pharmacy owner John Sherrer released a statement, citing Purcell’s many accomplishments in the healthcare field, making him “ideally suited to this elected office.”

“He understands the importance of free market solutions and the need to resist forces that can unnecessarily prevent patients from being able to choose the physician or pharmacist of their choice,” Sherrer said of Purcell. “Over the years, he has worked tirelessly with NCPA, an association of approximately 23,000 independent community pharmacy owners across America and more than 700 in Georgia, to shine a spotlight on the questionable business practices of pharmacy benefit managers. Gerry is a leading voice for PBM industry reform, and as a small business owner he understands the challenges faced by small businesses like local community pharmacies and other healthcare providers.”

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Pfizer voluntarily withdraws Mylotarg

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Pfizer has withdrawn one of its cancer drugs from the market at the request of the Food and Drug Administration amid concerns about its safety and efficacy, the FDA said Monday.

The drug maker started the voluntary withdrawal of the drug Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin), used to treat acute myeloid leukemia, following the abrupt halting of a post-marketing trial in which patients taking Mylotarg with chemotherapy showed no clinical benefit and also died at a higher rate than those taking chemotherapy alone. Wyeth, now part of Pfizer and the original developer of the drug, started the trial in 2004. The drug was approved under the FDA’s accelerated approval program in 2000 for patients aged 60 and older with AML.

“Mylotarg was granted an accelerated approval to allow patient access to what was believed to be a promising new treatment for a devastating form of cancer,” FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Oncology Drug Products director Richard Pazdur said in a statement. “However, a confirmatory clinical trial and years of post-marketing experience with the product have not shown evidence of clinical benefit in patients with AML.”

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Walmart inks deal with Lilly to offer pharmacy patients Humulin

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS The nation’s largest retailer has teamed up with a drug company to provide an affordable insulin option for people with diabetes.

Lilly’s Humulin will be offered by mid-September to Walmart pharmacy patients under the dual-branded name Humulin ReliOn, including 10 mL vials of Humulin R U-100, Humulin N and Humulin 70/30 formulations.

"With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions in America, it’s more important than ever for participants in the healthcare system to work together to provide solutions to help people successfully manage this condition," said Keith Johns, Lilly’s senior director for insulins in the United States. "At Lilly, we strive to provide innovative, cost-effective therapies that help patients manage their diabetes. And as the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart touches more consumers than any other retail organization in the country. This collaboration offers a unique opportunity to provide a low-cost therapy to large numbers of people affected by diabetes."

Along with Humulin ReliOn insulin, Walmart also offers $9 diabetes management products, including the ReliOn Ultima blood glucose meter, the ReliOn Ultima blood glucose test strips (20 ct) and the ReliOn A1c test (glycated hemoglobin).

 

"Our ReliOn diabetes management products offer customers access to quality, affordable products that allow our customers to save money and live better, healthier lives," said Sandy Kinsey, Walmart’s VP pharmacy merchandising, health and wellness. "With this new offering of Humulin ReliOn insulin, Walmart underscores our commitment to helping people affected by diabetes manage their healthcare needs."

 

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