PHARMACY

Rite Aid offers free Medicare Part D consultations

BY Barbara White-Sax

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is making its pharmacists available free of charge to seniors and their caregivers for personalized Medicare Part D consultations. Seniors can also use Rite Aid’s dedicated Medicare Advisor comparison tools online at RiteAid.com/medicareadvisor.

With Medicare Part D open enrollment from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, Rite Aid anticipates that many seniors choosing a prescription drug program will find the complicated pricing process and varying coverage rates of the many provider plans confusing.

Medicare Part D plans are not all created alike, and finding the right Medicare Part D plan can be overwhelming," said Robert Thompson, Rite Aid’s EVP pharmacy. "But it’s easier with a trusted adviser. Rite Aid pharmacists stand ready to help their patients find the plan in their area that is best for their prescription needs."

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that 19.7 million beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

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Humana-Walmart plan open for enrollment for seniors

BY Barbara White-Sax

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart and Humana have teamed up again to help Medicare beneficiaries afford their prescriptions. With annual enrollment open until Dec. 7, 2012, for 2013 Medicare plans, the Humana-Walmart Preferred Rx Plan announced that it offers one monthly plan premium of $18.50 a month for beneficiaries in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., regardless of where they live.

The plan, which has grown by more than 50% over the past year and has nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries currently enrolled, also features in-store co-payments as low as $1 for generic medications after the deductible when plan members fill their prescriptions at Walmart, Sam’s Club or Neighborhood Market pharmacies.

Mail-order co-payments, via Humana’s RightSource Rx Pharmacy, are as low as $0. The plan has a broad prescription offering with more than 1,500 generic medications.

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Watson gains two generic approvals

BY Barbara White-Sax

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals announced that its subsidiary, Watson Laboratories, has received Food and Drug Administration approval on its abbreviated new drug application for irbesartan tablets — the generic equivalent to Sanofi’s Avapro — in the 75-mg, 150-mg and 300-mg strengths.

Avapro is indicated for the treatment of hypertension when used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents. It is also indicated for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy. Avapro and its generic equivalents had total U.S. sales of approximately $390 million for the 12 months ended Aug. 31, 2012, according to IMS Health data.

Watson Laboratories also received FDA approval on its abbreviated new drug application for trospium chloride extended-release capsules, the generic equivalent to Allergan’s Sanctura XR. For the 12 months ended July 31, 2012, Sanctura XR had total U.S. sales of approximately $67 million, according to IMS Health.

The company plans to begin shipping both products immediately.

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