HEALTH

Oncologists favor biosimilar adoption, Decision Resources finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGTON, Mass. While biosimilars promise to provide therapies for a wide range of diseases, their biggest fans may come from cancer specialists, according to a new report.

Healthcare market research firm Decision Resources found in a report that oncologists would be the most aggressive in adopting biosimilars compared with other specialists because of their lower clinical trial requirements. According to research, oncologists in the United States will adopt biosimilars faster than their European counterparts because they will require fewer and shorter phase-3 clinical trials before they feel comfortable prescribing them.

The firm expected biosimilars of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, as well as biosimilars of monoclonal antibody therapies used to treat cancer, to reduce brand sales by more than $7 billion in 2019 in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which Decision Resources collectively refers to as the “EU5.”

“Because of patent expiries and more-established regulatory pathways for approving biosimilars in Europe, most biosimilar [monoclonal antibodies] will launch in the EU5 before the United States,” Decision Resources analyst Cindy Fung said. “As a result, U.S. physicians will likely benefit from clinical experience in European markets that will increase their rate of adopting these agents.”

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Rite Aid highlights patients’ favorite pharmacists with annual contest

BY Allison Cerra

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid is asking patients to vote for their favorite pharmacist during the month of October, which is American Pharmacists Month.

Through Oct. 31, Rite Aid patients are encouraged to vote for their favorite pharmacist on RiteAid.com or in any Rite Aid store, an annual contest now in its seventh year. One patient and one pharmacist will each receive $2,500 in Rite Aid gift cards through a random drawing.

“American Pharmacists Month is the perfect time to honor Rite Aid pharmacists for all they do to keep their patients and communities healthy,” said Robert Thompson, Rite Aid EVP pharmacy. “Our pharmacists provide outstanding patient care every day, whether they’re counseling patients on medications, administering immunizations or helping them manage a new or difficult disease. Our Favorite Pharmacist program is a great way for our company and patients to thank them for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.”

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Kerr Drug delivers in a big way

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH, N.C. In an effort to further connect customers to their pharmacy, Kerr Drug now is offering free drug delivery to those that are ill, housebound or simply too busy to pick up their prescriptions.

How it works: Kerr Drug customers call their prescriptions in to the store pharmacist and request the prescription be delivered to their home or office, and the customer must sign for their prescription when the medication is delivered. To add even more value to the service, in addition to the prescription delivery, any other item from the store also can be delivered free of charge.

“Kerr Drug is a pioneer in the concept of community pharmacy, and ultimately what that means is finding the best way to serve the people in your community,” said Tony Civello, president and CEO of Kerr Drug. “There are times and circumstances when customers can’t get to the pharmacy, so this is a way to bring the pharmacy to them.”

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