Takeda acquires URL Pharma
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Takeda Pharmaceutical will acquire privately owned drug maker URL Pharma for $800 million, the companies said Wednesday.
Takeda announced that it would acquire Philadelphia-based URL through a U.S. subsidiary for the upfront payment plus future milestone payments. Takeda said it expected the acquisition to contribute "significantly" to its sales and profits starting in fiscal year 2013.
The purchase also includes URL’s Colcrys (colchicine), a drug used to treat and prevent gout flares that had sales of more than $430 million in 2011. Takeda already markets another gout drug, Uloric (febuxostat), which is used to lower blood uric levels in adults with the disease.
"This acquisition expands Takeda’s gout treatment portfolio and leverages our expertise in primary care," Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. president Douglas Cole said. "Gout affects more than 8 million Americans, and the prevalence of gout is rising."
Cardinal’s advertising network drives consumer action, Nielsen study finds
DUBLIN, Ohio — A digital advertising network for retail pharmacies set up by one of the country’s largest healthcare services companies appeared to be effective in marketing products to consumers, according to a new study.
Nielsen released results of an audience-research study Wednesday showing that Cardinal Health’s Pharmacy Health Network, which streams advertisements and educational content on flat-panel LCD screens in retail pharmacies, encouraged customers to discuss products and brands with their pharmacists and physicians and take materials from brochure racks accompanying each Pharmacy Health Network screen. The network had more than 1.2 million advertising exposures over a four-week period, according to Nielsen.
"Consumers are taking action and talking with their physicians about products they learn about on our network," Pharmacy Health Network senior manager John Disher said. "Pharmacy Health Network has received an overwhelmingly positive response from advertisers and consumers alike, and we look forward to expanding the number of stores and advertisers that participate in the program."
According to the study, more than 80% of respondents rated the network’s content as "excellent" or "good," while almost 90% found it informative. About half said they felt encouraged to discuss products or brands with their pharmacists, while 16% later discussed them with their physicians, and 11% purchased products they had seen advertised.
Cub Pharmacy to offer customers DPCA’s diabetes control program
MINNETONKA, Minn. — A Supervalu banner announced that it will offer patients access to a program created by UnitedHealth Group’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance.
Cub Pharmacy said it will offer the diabetes control program — which will provide patient education and support from trained pharmacists by appointment to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing such complications as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disease — at 62 locations in Minnesota. As part of the program, pharmacists in these Cub Pharmacy locations will conduct blood-glucose, cholesterol and blood-pressure testing services for program participants and provide them with on-the-spot results.
Shop ‘n Save, another Supervalu banner, joined the DPCA and began offering the diabetes control program in late March. Other companies that participate in DPCA include Albertson’s LLC, Kroger, Safeway, Walgreens and Winn-Dixie, as well as UnitedHealth Group, the Y and Novo Nordisk.
Services offered by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance may be contracted by any health insurer or plan sponsor. Currently, DPCA services are available at no additional out-of-pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans through UnitedHealthcare and Medica in select markets, UnitedHealth Group said.
"Supervalu is proud to partner with the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance to help make an impact on the nation’s diabetes epidemic through equipping and empowering patients to improve their health. Cub pharmacists are well-positioned to improve our patients’ health due to their accessibility, training and experience in coordinating healthcare services," Supervalu pharmacies president Chris Dimos said.