PHARMACY

Shipments of generic version of Bontril PDM begins

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHVALE, N.J. — Initial shipment of a generic appetite suppressant has started, the drug’s manufacturer said Thursday.

Elite Pharmaceuticals announced the initial shipment of phendimetrazine tartrate tablets in the 35-mg strength, a generic version of Valeant’s Bontril PDM, under a manufacturing and supply agreement with Mikah Pharma. Actavis, recently acquired by Watson Pharmaceuticals, will distribute the drug as part of a distribution agreement between Mikah and Actavis.

Bontril PDM and generic versions of it had sales of about $3.5 million during the 12-month period ended in September 2012, according to IMS Health.


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NACDS lauds Tricare retail pharmacy vaccination program for enabling 1 million vaccinations

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Thursday applauded the Tricare Retail Pharmacy Vaccination Program’s announcement that 1 million vaccinations have been administered in retail pharmacies for military families and veterans.

Tricare expanded its pharmacy coverage in August 2011 to include a full spectrum of preventative vaccines. The expansion covers all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended vaccinations at no cost if they are administered by a pharmacist at a participating Tricare pharmacy.  As a result, the milestone of one million vaccinations was achieved as of Oct. 28, 2012.
 
“We are pleased that the Department of Defense has expanded retail pharmacy’s role in administering vaccinations for Tricare patients,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “As the face of neighborhood health care, retail community pharmacies provide a number of patient services, including vaccinations, to help patients improve their health and reduce healthcare costs.”
 
NACDS has long-supported efforts to protect pharmacy choice and access for Tricare beneficiaries.  Earlier this year, NACDS urged members of Congress to forego pharmacy co-payment changes to the Tricare program that would have placed significant financial burdens on its beneficiaries and threatened access to local community pharmacies.  In comments to a U.S. Senate panel, NACDS also emphasized to Congress the importance of finding ways to control spending while preserving patient pharmacy choice and access.
 
“This week we remember the brave service men and women who have served or continue to serve the nation. One of the best way to honor them is to protect Tricare beneficiaries’ ability to receive their vaccinations, fill their prescriptions and other health services provided by retail community pharmacy,” Anderson said. 
 

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CVS/pharmacy waives co-pays at select stores in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of its continuing efforts to help communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, CVS/pharmacy has announced that it is waiving prescription co-payments, deductibles and other financial liability related to prescription medications for patients who cannot pay at selected stores in the hardest hit neighborhoods in New York City and surrounding communities. 

This co-pay waiver program, which began on Nov. 12 and will run until the end of the month, is being undertaken with the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the New York City Office of the Mayor and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  

In addition, CVS/pharmacy is operating a mobile pharmacy at the site of its closed store at 88-07 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway Beach, N.Y. This facility will also participate in the co-pay waiver program.

CVS/pharmacy noted that the program is not a blanket waiver of all co-payments and that requests to cover medication costs will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  

For a list of stores participating in the co-pay waiver program click here.
 

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