PHARMACY

Rite Aid positions itself to assist seniors with Part D open enrollment

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Wednesday announced its pharmacists have been prepared to assist seniors during the 2011 Medicare Part D open enrollment period. With the first of the baby boomers officially turning 65 years old in 2011, more seniors are expected to hit drug stores looking for information about Part D options and open enrollment.

 

Open enrollment begins on Nov. 15.

 

 

Patients who are new to the Medicare Part D benefit, as well as those currently enrolled in a plan who are reviewing their selection to make sure it’s the best plan for them, can receive counseling from any Rite Aid pharmacist. Patients also can receive a personalized printed report featuring the three lowest-cost plans based on their current prescriptions filled at Rite Aid locations.

 

 

Medicare enrollees have until Dec. 31 to review their current plan or enroll in a new plan. Those eligible for the Medicare Part D benefit include people older than 65 years and those with disabilities.

 

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Report: Government officials question FDA’s approval of generic Lovenox

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Government officials said problems have arisen with the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a generic blood-thinning drug due to its previous relationship with the generic drug’s manufacturer, according to published reports.

 

According to The Wall Street Journal, a congressional committee was planning to release a report Tuesday showing that the FDA created the appearance of compromised integrity in its review and approval of an applicaton for a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis’ Lovenox (enoxaparin) submitted by Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Sandoz because Momenta had provided free consulting work in 2008 while the agency was investigating contaminated supplies of the blood thinner heparin imported from China. Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis, is co-marketing the generic version of Lovenox with Momenta.

 

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IMS Health executive: Generic competition can help U.S. save billions

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Loss of patent protection for branded drugs and subsequent competition from generics could save the U.S. healthcare system $70 billion or more over the next four years, according to published reports.

 

Reuters reported IMS Health SVP Murray Aitken as saying at the Reuters Health Summit that generics also would increase their dominance in terms of prescriptions dispensed, increasing from 77% during the first half of this year to perhaps 85% by 2014.

 

 

Anumber of blockbuster drugs are expected to lose patent protection and face generic competition in the years to come, notably Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) –– the world’s top-selling drug, with more than $7 billion in sales in the United States alone, according to IMS –– which will lose protection next year and face generic competition from Ranbaxy Labs.

 

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