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Study: Medicare Part D sources 2 to 3 times more branded Rx than VA

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — The Annals of Internal Medicine on Tuesday published a study comparing generic utilization of common diabetes medications across two government programs — Medicare Part D and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Medicare’s use of brand-name medicines was two to three times greater than the VA.

According to the study, the disparity comes out of Medicare’s reliance on private plans with distinct formularies, whereas the VA administers its own benefit using a national formulary.

Brand-name drug use for oral hypoglycemics totaled 35.3% across Medicare, vs. 12.7% at the VA; 50.7% vs. 18.2% for statins; 42.5% vs. 20.8% for ACE inhibitors; and 75.1% vs. 27% for insulin analogues. 

While the study identified the generic utilization disparity, researchers noted they could not provide a comprehensive analysis describing the factors underlying differences in brand-name drug use.

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CVS Caremark receives URAC accreditation in specialty pharmacy

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Tuesday that it has been awarded specialty pharmacy accreditation from URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the healthcare industry.

"Specialty Pharmacy is a critical component of pharmacy care services offered by CVS Caremark," stated EVP specialty pharmacy Alan Lotvin. "We aspire to provide the highest level of quality services to patients who need specialty medications, and this accreditation is testimony to our ability to deliver on this goal."

CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy is focused on providing drug therapy management and dispensing services for patients requiring treatment with medications that are used to treat rare, chronic or genetic conditions. Services include ongoing disease education and therapy counseling, benefits verification, coordination of care with multiple healthcare providers, patient education and adherence management.

URAC is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes healthcare quality through accreditation and certification programs. Through its governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC aims to ensure that all stakeholders are represented in setting meaningful standards for the healthcare industry.

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J.Ward says:
Jun-12-2013 06:17 am

Isn't it convenient that CVS will now be eligible to fill prescriptions that Caremark restricts to specialty pharmacies. No conflict of interest there! Why not make everything a specialty item and fill all of the scripts? I'm sure that has never been a factor (not).

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Rising Pharmaceuticals to launch authorized generic of Lou Gehrig’s disease drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Aceto Corp. will sell an authorized generic version of a drug used to treat a rare but devastating degenerative disorder.

Aceto said it would launch the authorized generic version of Covis Pharma’s Rilutek (riluzole) tablets in the 50-mg strength through its Rising Pharmaceuticals subsidiary. The drug is used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Sales of the drug were about $64 million in 2012, according to Aceto.

 

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