PHARMACY

NCPA expresses support for many of the policy changes proposed by CMS

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday expressed support of several policy changes proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to a document filed in the Federal Register. 

"We are encouraged by CMS’ response to problems with preferred pharmacy networks," said Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "CMS’ proposal to allow any willing pharmacy to offer a plan’s lowest, or ‘preferred,’ cost-sharing should help level the playing field for community pharmacies to participate in these plans and should benefit seniors by giving them more competition and choice among pharmacies in their drug plan."

Hoey commended CMS’ efforts to address concerns over maximum allowable cost pricing, "particularly in the wake of soaring costs for certain generic drugs," he said. "Giving community pharmacists both greater transparency into the MAC-setting process and more assurance that MACs should be updated frequently to reflect real-world costs is the least that prescription drug plans should do."

NCPA expressed support for CMS’ move away from "co-pay arrangements that incentivize the use of mail-order over retail." 

"Research utilizing Medicare’s own data found that community pharmacies offered 90-day supplies of medication at lower cost and that these pharmacists did a better job promoting the proper use of cost-saving generic drugs compared to mail-order," Hoey noted.

NCPA also highlighted CMS’ proposed expansion of coverage of medication therapy management services. "We thank the agency for recommending a prohibition on reimbursement methods, such as prorated dispensing fees, that penalize long-term care pharmacies for adopting dispensing techniques that are intended to reduce medication waste," Hoey said.

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Reports: Dan Haron named NuScriptRx CEO

BY Antoinette Alexander

NASHVILLE — Retail pharmacy veteran Dan Haron has been appointed CEO of NuScriptRx, which serves the pharmaceutical needs of long-term care facilities and their residents, according to published reports.

Haron previously served as president of Cigna pharmacy management. He joined Cigna in 2007 as VP operations for Cigna tele-drug home delivery pharmacy.

Haron graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, after which he held positions of increasing responsibility at People’s Drug Stores, CVS/pharmacy, Arrow Prescription Centers and Brooks and Eckerd Pharmacy before joining Cigna.

 

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Ani Pharmaceuticals buys 31 generic drugs from Teva with combined annual sales of $860 million

BY Alaric DeArment

BAUDETTE, Minn. — Ani Pharmaceuticals has bought 31 generic drugs from Teva Pharmaceuticals for $12.5 million, the company said.

The deal includes a cash transaction and a percentage of future gross profits from product sales, Ani said. Of the 31 drugs, 20 are oral-solid, immediate-release products; four are extended-release; and seven are liquid drugs. The drug maker said it would immediately start working on transferring them into its factories and expects to launch them in fourth quarter 2014. The drugs have combined annual sales of $860 million, according to IMS Health.

"This acquisition is a significant opportunity for Ani to expand our generic product portfolio beyond our current seven marketed products," Ani president and CEO Arthur Przybyl said. "When launched, these products will strengthen our business by growing our revenue base and leveraging our manufacturing capabilities."

Ani also said this week that it had entered a fee-for-service development agreement for a generic drug product with Sterling Pharmaceutical Services, though it didn’t specify which product that was, except to say it had annual sales of $60 million, according to IMS Health.

 

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