OptumRx acquires home infusion solution provider AxelaCare Health Solutions
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – OptumRx, the pharmacy care services business of Optum, announced Tuesday it has acquired AxelaCare Health Solutions, a provider of home infusion solutions.
“AxelaCare’s at-home services will enable us to more effectively support the growing number of people managing complex conditions, many of whom require infusions that increasingly involve higher-cost specialty medications,” stated Mark Thierer, CEO of OptumRx.
“AxelaCare’s sophisticated approach to treating patients with complex clinical conditions will be further enhanced by Optum’s ability to deliver more actionable information to the precise point of care, yielding greater value for customers and consumers," added Larry Renfro, Optum CEO.
With an aging population accessing new and more medications, AxelaCare enhances OptumRx’s ability to deliver care to the growing number of consumers managing complex conditions through at-home infusions. Together, AxelaCare and OptumRx will expand the scope of treatments that can be offered in the home.
AxelaCare’s electronic patient outcomes assessment technology, CareExchange, captures and reports real-time patient-specific data on the clinical efficacy of drug regimens. CareExchange will work together with Optum’s analytics tools to support treatment decisions and OptumRx’s synchronized approach to medical and pharmacy care.
AxelaCare currently treats patients in 44 states and Washington, D.C. through its network of registered nurses. The company offers chronic drug therapies from unaffiliated manufacturers through its network of 34 pharmacies, for conditions such as autoimmune disease and hemophilia, as well as acute infusion therapies including antibiotics and total parenteral nutrition.
“OptumRx’s differentiated pharmacy care services model that goes beyond prescriptions to leverage industry-leading data, technology and scale, will help AxelaCare deliver on our promise to improve the health of the people and communities we serve,” said Ted Kramm, CEO of AxelaCare. “Our shared focus on creating more connected experiences will support better treatment decisions, health outcomes and cost savings for patients and customers.”
Through its service to more than 65 million people through a broad base of payer and employer clients, OptumRx will accelerate the introduction of AxelaCare’s approach to home infusion care to a broader market.
IMS Institute projects U.S. drug spending up by 34% by 2020
DANBURY, Conn. – In the U.S., pharmaceutical spending on an invoice price basis will reach as high as $590 billion by 2020, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics reported Wednesday, representing a 34% increase over the 2015 level of spending. The dispensing rate of generic medicines will increase from 88% to as high as 92% by 2020.
And as many as 225 new molecules will be brought to market, with one in three focused on treating cancer.
"This is further evidence of the strength of the pipeline with respect to bringing clincally differentiated and new medicines to market, not only in cancer, but also in hepatitis-C, auto-immune disorders, heart disease and a wide array of rare diseases as well," commented Murray Aitken, IMS Health senior vice president and executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, during a press conference with journalists. "We're expecting, indeed, 75 new orphan drugs will come through by 2020."
Worldwide, IMS is projecting that total drug spend will increase 30% from 2015 through 2020 and will reach $1.4 trillion in 2020. "Much of this growth is due to greater access to medicines, particularly in lower- to middle-income countries," Aitken said. "We're projecting that the total volume of medicines consumed in 2020 will be 4.5 trillion doses, that is up 24% from the level of 2015, mostly driven by increased access in the large pharmerging markets."
More than half of the world’s population will live in countries where medicine use will exceed one dose per person per day by 2020, up from 31% in 2005, as the “medicine use gap” between developed and pharmerging markets narrows.
Global spending is forecast to grow at a 4%-7% compound annual rate over the next five years.
“During the next five years, we expect to see a surge of innovative medicines emerging from R&D pipelines, as well as technology-enabled advances that will deliver measurable improvements to health outcomes,” Aitken stated. “With unprecedented treatment options, greater availability of low-cost drugs and better use of evidence to inform decision making, stakeholders around the world can expect to get more ‘bang for their medicine buck’ in 2020 than ever before.”
AmerisourceBergen announces chairman succession plans
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Wednesday announced that Steven Collis, president and CEO, will also assume the title of chairman following the retirement of chairman Richard Gozon at the annual meeting of stockholders in March 2016. Jane Henney will become the board’s lead independent director.
Collis has served as president and CEO of AmerisourceBergen since July 2011 and a director since May 2011. Henney has served as a director since January 2002 and chair of the governance and nominating committee since June 2009.
According to AmerisourceBergen’s corporate governance principles, the lead independent director will have a dynamic leadership role in the governance of the board, which includes authority to approve board agendas and materials, call meetings of independent directors and preside over regularly scheduled executive sessions of independent directors held without the chairman present.
“With his unparalleled knowledge of the company and industry, Steve is uniquely positioned to lead AmerisourceBergen as it moves forward and to fulfill the company’s long-term strategic objectives and expansion into new markets," Gozon said. "His strategy has built, and will continue to build, value for shareholders.”
“Jane’s integrity, experience as a director of public companies, including at Cigna Corporation, AstraZeneca and Cubist Pharmaceuticals, commitment to governance best practices and leadership of the governance and nominating committee made her a clear choice to take on the role of lead independent director,” Gozon added.
“I want to thank Dick for his extraordinary dedication to AmerisourceBergen and the outstanding leadership and guidance that he has provided as chairman," Collis said. "While we will miss him greatly, Dick’s legacy will be lasting," he said. “I am grateful that Jane has agreed to assume the position of lead independent director following Dick’s retirement. She brings tremendous commitment to her responsibilities on the board, vital healthcare, health policy and regulatory expertise, and substantial management experience.”
Henney also serves on the advisory committee on governance for the National Association of Corporate Directors, and has been recognized as a top 100 director by the NACD.
The election of Collis and Henney is contingent on their re-election as directors at the annual meeting.
In addition, the board of directors amended and restated AmerisourceBergen’s bylaws to allow eligible stockholders to include their director nominees in the company’s proxy materials along with the director nominees selected by the board. Under the proxy access bylaw provisions, a stockholder or a group of up to 20 stockholders who have continuously owned at least 3% of AmerisourceBergen’s outstanding common stock for three years or more may nominate director nominees to fill up to the greater of 2 or 20% of the available board seats. The nominating stockholder or group of stockholders, as well as the nominees, must satisfy procedural and disclosure requirements set out in the amended bylaws.
“The adoption of proxy access for director nominations,” Gozon noted, “demonstrates the board’s continuing efforts to implement leading practices in corporate governance and its commitment to meaningful engagement with, and responsiveness to, our stockholders.”
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