PHARMACY

New study strengthens case for pharmacists’ role in improving adherence

BY Alaric DeArment

A study conducted among rural patients at Thrifty White Pharmacy locations in the Midwest and published in the November/December issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association found that patients who received appointment-based medication synchronization were up to six times more likely to adhere to their therapies than those who didn’t receive them.

Over the years, study after study has shown that pharmacists can play a crucial role in ensuring that patients take their drugs when they’re supposed to and as instructed. And poor medication adherence is no small issue, as studies have shown it costs the country nearly $300 billion per year, in addition to contributing to poor health outcomes. It’s been said that improvements in medication adherence can be the equivalent of a blockbuster drug, and according to the National Coalition on Health Care, self-management of chronic diseases could save $10 for every $1 spent.

Many retail pharmacy chains have already been recognized for their efforts to improve medication adherence through medication synchronization, medication therapy management and programs that keep track on patients’ medication use after they’ve been discharged from the hospital, as well as being tapped for participation in adherence-based programs. For example, Miami-based Navarro Discount Pharmacy was selected last month by OutcomesMTM as one of the four pharmacies in the Southeast recognized for its commitment to MTM, while Walgreens’ WellTransitions program received an endorsement in September from the American Hospital Association.

The ability of such services as MTM to improve adherence is strong enough that pharmacy retailers have taken their message to Capitol Hill as well. In October, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a statement to budget committee conference members in the House and Senate touting the ability of MTM to improve adherence and lower costs, citing reports by the Congressional Budget Office and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Such findings have helped drive support for bipartisan bills in the House and Senate, each titled the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013.

 

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FDA approves first drug for Peyronie’s disease

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment for a sexual deformity that affects men.

The FDA announced the approval of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals’ Xiaflex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum), the first drug treatment for Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease results from a lump of scar tissue in the penis that causes a curvature of at least 30 degrees during erection, which can make sexual intercourse difficult. Xiaflex received FDA approval in 2010 for Dupuytren’s contractor, a progressive hand disease that can affect a person’s ability to straighten and properly use their fingers.

"Today’s approval expands the available treatment options for men experiencing Peyronie’s disease and enables them, in consultation with their doctor, to choose the most appropriate treatment option," FDA Division of Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Products deputy director Audrey Gassman said.

 

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Taro to repurchase up to 5.3% of outstanding stock for $200 million

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. — Taro Pharmaceutical Industries plans to repurchase up to $200 million of its own shares, the Israeli generic drug maker said.

Taro announced a tender offer to repurchase the shares for between $84.50 and $97.50 each, with the total amount representing 4.6% to 5.3% of its outstanding shares.

The offer expires on Dec. 23, the company said.

 

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