PHARMACY

ProStrakan announces U.S. launch of Abstral

BY Alaric DeArment

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — A drug used to treat pain in cancer patients now is available in the United States.

ProStrakan Group announced Monday the launch of Abstral (fentanyl) sublingual tablets. The tablets, which disintegrate rapidly and are placed under the tongue, treat breakthrough pain, common in one-half to two-thirds of people with cancer-related pain.

The drug, an opioid and controlled substance, only is available through a Food and Drug Administration-mandated REMS program. The FDA approved the drug in January.

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PHARMACY

Pfizer to sell Capsugel to KKR

BY Alaric DeArment

PEAPACK, N.J. — Pfizer will sell its Capsugel business to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for nearly $2.4 billion, the drug maker said Monday.

Capsugel, which develops hard capsules and drug-delivery systems, generated about $750 million in sales last year. The company will maintain its New Jersey headquarters after the sale is complete.

“This transaction is an endorsement of Capsugel’s consistent success to date and its potential for future growth with KKR, a firm with deep industry expertise and a long history of partnering with market-leading businesses to take them to the next level,” Capsugel president and general manager Guido Driesen said. “Capsugel’s employees and I are excited to work with KKR and eager to enhance the value of our business in partnership with our customers.”

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PHARMACY

Walgreens’ executive client forum emphasizes employer health programs

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Representatives from leading employers and payers met Monday to discuss the evolving role of employers in health care at the first Walgreens Employer Health and Wellness Executive Client Forum.

The event features presentations from Walgreens executives on clinical outcomes data supporting the benefits of utilizing employer health programs beyond traditional services.

Throughout the two-day event, attendees also will participate in activities to identify and share best practices on how employers can optimize emerging trends in the healthcare and pharmacy space.

Notable companies attending the event include Caterpillar, Highmark and Toyota. Each of these organizations manages health and/or pharmacy needs in conjunction with Take Care Health Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens with more than 700 locations throughout the country. Employer health and pharmacy programs managed through Walgreens and Take Care Health Systems incorporate an array of services, including primary care, health and wellness, occupational health, pharmacy, fitness, physical therapy and others.

"No matter what industry or line of business, companies across the country are increasingly looking for innovative, measurable healthcare and pharmacy solutions that can improve outcomes and convenience for their employees while simultaneously reducing overall costs," stated Peter Hotz, Walgreens group VP.

"Walgreens is steadily building on our unique collection of assets across the pharmacy, health and wellness spectrum to offer payers and employers customizable programs designed to achieve these goals," Hotz added. "This forum is an excellent opportunity for current and prospective clients to learn more about the future of employer health, as well as share key successes and challenges they have experienced and learned within their organizations."

The forum features presentations focused on key emerging themes in the employer health and pharmacy sector. Topics to be covered during the event include:

  • "Integration and Multifaceted Support: Keys to Improving Outcomes for People with Chronic Diseases," presented by Cheryl Pegus, Walgreens chief medical officer;

  • “Health Cloud — Enabling Improved Care through Enhanced Technology," presented by Tim Theriault, Walgreens chief information officer;

  • “The Next Phase of Pharmacy: Integrating Specialty Pharmacy and Infusion Services into an Onsite Pharmacy or Worksite," to be led by Stephen Kansler, Walgreens VP specialty pharmacy solutions; and

  • ”Removing Roadblocks: Innovative Health Care Trends and Traditional Care Alternatives," to be led by Colin Watts, Walgreens chief innovation officer.

"With the growing use of technologies like electronic medical records and medication monitoring programs to help patients boost their adherence and manage chronic conditions, smart companies need to be constantly exploring how to get the most out of the healthcare options available," stated Paul VanDeventer, Walgreens divisional VP of the employer segment. "By informing organizations about these services and also demonstrating to them the specific impact they can have, Walgreens is furthering its commitment to being a go-to health resource for employers and payers."

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