PHARMACY

Par completes acquisition of Edict

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Generic drug maker Par Pharmaceutical has completed its acquisition of an Indian drug company, Par said.

Par announced that it had completed its $20.5 million acquisition of Chennai, India-based Edict Pharmaceuticals.

Edict specializes in oral solid drugs and currently has 11 regulatory approval applications under review at the Food and Drug Administration.


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PHARMACY

Now it’s proven: specialty pharmacy helps reduce healthcare spend

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — "I appreciate the fact that [Walgreens is] trying to do some very good things with respect to clinical offerings and other avenues to try to impact the overall healthcare spectrum. But quite frankly, that hasn’t been proven to reduce cost." That was what George Paz, Express Scripts chairman, president and CEO, said Thursday morning about the go-to-market strategy currently being employed by Walgreens. Later that day, Walgreens released these data — contrary to Paz’s take on the value of Walgreens. While the timing of Walgreens’ announcement soon after Paz made his remarks might have been serendipitous, the results — that Walgreens is helping to reduce cost with respect to clinical offerings and other avenues — is not the kind of good fortune you come across accidentally.

(THE NEWS: Study: Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy can cut infusion medication costs by more than half. For the full story, click here.)

Bottom line: Specialty pharmacy services are one way retail pharmacy operators can effectively move that healthcare cost needle down, and it’s something that pharmacy operators from independents on up to national chains like Walgreens have been doing for a while now.

Specialty pharmacy is an overall healthcare-cost-cutting tool that Walgreens means to keep sharp — just this month, Walgreens announced its proposed acquisition of BioScrip’s community specialty pharmacies and centralized specialty and mail-service pharmacy businesses, all of which will further help grow Walgreens’ ability to leverage its specialty pharmacy division against those rising healthcare costs. According to the company, Walgreens is already the nation’s leading provider of home infusion and No. 3 provider of specialty pharmacy, and the BioScrip acquisition will help to fortify that position.

As another example as to the influence Walgreens can potentially have on cost reduction initiatives through its specialty pharmacy and infusion pharmacy arms, Walgreens’ Medical Injectable Drug Program recently saved a health plan client approximately $28.5 million over a two-year period by facilitating the dispensing of almost 50 injectable pharmaceutical products typically administered in physician offices to the lower-cost option of Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, Walgreens executives recently told DSN.

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Hospira joins GPhA

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Generic drug maker Hospira has joined the country’s largest lobby for the generic drug industry, the company said.

Hospira, which specializes in generic injectables and infusion technology, announced that it had joined the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. In addition to generic pharmaceuticals, the company also makes biosimilars for the European market.

"We are pleased to welcome Hospira to GPhA, and we look forward to their joining in the association’s mission to improve the lives of consumers by providing timely access to affordable pharmaceuticals," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said.


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