PHARMACY

Shoppers Drug Mart launches proven add-on drug plan for Canada employers

BY Michael Johnsen

TORONTO – Loblaw on Tuesday announced that its Shoppers Drug Mart division is launching a new drug plan for Canadian employers that will integrate with their current health coverage.

The HealthWATCH for Business drug plan focuses on better managing drug spending and is estimated to help save employers and their employees 5%-10% on their drug plan.

“We understand that employers are facing unprecedented financial pressures due to increasingly complex conditions and more costly therapies,” stated Mark Rolnick, VP payor partnerships and plan sponsor innovation, Shoppers Drug Mart. “This HealthWATCH for Business drug plan is designed to help employers reduce spending on traditional therapies and create room in the drug plan to afford the growth and innovation of specialty medications.”

The HealthWATCH for Business drug plan offers employees enhanced support at the pharmacy counter. Members will also benefit from the support of the company’s Patient Contact Centre, which is focused on improving adherence to medications for chronic conditions. 

“Five years ago, Shoppers Drug Mart introduced a similar drug plan for its corporate employees and since then we’ve benefitted from considerable and sustained savings on our total drug spending within the plan,” Rolnick said. “Now we are able to share our solution with other Canadian employers to help them ensure the future sustainability of their drug plans.”

 

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PHARMACY

Prozac generic earns FDA approval

BY Brian Berk

GUJARAT, India — Alembic Pharmaceuticals announced it received Food and Drug Administration approval for generic Fluoxetine Hydrochloride tablets, 10mg and 20mg, used for the treatment of depression and panic disorder. 

This pharmaceutical is a generic version of Eli Lilly's Prozac tablets.

Common side effects associated with the drug include headache, dizziness, diarrhea and weakness.

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Biohaven Pharmaceutical files for IPO

BY Brian Berk

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Biohaven Pharmaceutical filed a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, hoping to obtain up to $100 million in proceeds from its initial public offering. The company plans to list its shares under the ticker symbol BHVN on the New York Stock Exchange.

New Haven-based Biohaven is engaged in the identification and development of clinical stage compounds targeting the glutamatergic system and other neurological pathways. The company’s first drug candidate, BHV-0223, is a novel formulation of a glutamate-modulating agent, being developed under FDA 505(b)(2) guidelines for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or Lou Gehrig’s disease). The FDA cleared the Company’s IND for BHV-0223 in August 2015, and Biohaven has completed a pharmacokinetic study in humans and is planning to launch a pivotal bioequivalence study.

Biohaven’s second clinical compound, trigriluzole, is a New Molecular Entity for neurodegenerative diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders and potentially cancer indications. The company states it plans to advance other approaches and is actively exploring licenses for additional compounds.

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