N.Y. state mail-order bill would raise drug costs, reduce access, FTC says
WASHINGTON — A bill awaiting a signature or veto from New York governor Andrew Cuomo that would restrict home delivery of chronic medications has attracted criticism from the Federal Trade Commission and the pharmacy benefit manager lobby.
In a letter to New York state Sen. James Seward responding to the senator’s request for comments, the FTC said New York Assembly Bill 5502-B would harm consumers and raise the prices of drugs while reducing access to them.
Seward’s bill is intended to help patients choose how and where prescriptions are filled, but the FTC said it would limit a health plan’s ability to steer beneficiaries to lower-cost mail-order vendors using financial incentives and other terms of coverage if a competing retail pharmacy is willing to fill prescriptions at "comparable prices."
"By restricting a health plan’s ability to offer favorable treatment to a low-cost mail-order pharmacy, the bill undercuts pharmacies’ incentives to bid aggressively for a share of that health plan’s business," the letter read.
"The Federal Trade Commission’s comments on the anti-mail-service pharmacy bill make it clear that it would harm consumers by limiting access and raising their prescription drug costs," Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said. "Governor Cuomo should veto this prescription drug tax on small business."
Here's a link for those who want to read the FTC for themselves: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2011/08/110808healthcarecomment.pdf And here's my analysis of the letter from Drug Channels: FTC Slams NY Anti-Mail Bill; Insights for ESRX-MHS?. Adam
Music star Keith Urban, Boom LLC develop men’s cologne for mass market
NEW YORK — Boom LLC has teamed up with country music sensation Keith Urban to release in the mass market his first fragrance for men called Phoenix by Keith Urban.
The cologne, which launches worldwide in the fall, is designed to be not only reflective of his personal triumphs, but also an expression of his spirit. The phoenix symbol resonates with the four-time Grammy award-winning artist for its immortality and ability to renew and be reborn.
Urban worked closely with Boom on the creative package design and fragrance development. He envisioned the fragrance as a modern twist on a classic, creating a leathery gourmand scent described as sexy, rich and masculine. The fragrance is introduced with top notes of blackberries, cognac and plum; segues into the aromas of dark chocolate and crisp fir balsam; and finishes with warm cashmere wood in the background.
Fans will get a sneak peek of Phoenix during Urban’s 50-plus city “Get Closer 2011” world tour. The promotional campaign, which features giveaways and sampling opportunities — including the distribution of scented Phoenix tattoos at all future concert venue stops in the United States — marks the first time a cologne will be marketed in conjunction with a country music concert tour. Fans also will have access to an exclusive online presale at KeithUrban.net/Phoenix.
Phoenix will launch internationally to mass-market retailers — including CVS, Rite Aid and Sears in the United States; Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada; and Target and David Jones in Australia — beginning in October. The price point ranges from $24 to $48.
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GSK names new chief marketing officer
PITTSBURGH — GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on Monday named John Graham chief marketing officer for Consumer Healthcare, North America.
“In our search for candidates to fill this position, we wanted someone with a proven track record of building strong brands and consumer-focused marketing programs so we can grow our Consumer Healthcare business in the years to come,” stated GSK CHNA president Colin Mackenzie. “John has demonstrated to us where he has done this, and he brings a great depth of experience in global consumer healthcare marketing, innovation, change management and executive leadership to the table.”
Graham joins GSK from Johnson & Johnson, where he served as VP corporate equity, holding responsibility for J&J’s global equity and reputation programs. He previously served as VP U.S. marketing for J&J Vision Care and held a variety of posts in sales and marketing during his 16-year tenure with the company.
Graham will lead GSK Consumer Healthcare’s North American marketing functions and will be responsible for integrating the efforts of the global category teams into local marketing plans and for instilling a culture that allows for continual interaction among marketing, sales and other functions within the business.
Graham will be based in Parsippany, N.J.
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