PHARMACY

Trump nominates former Lilly president to HHS chief position

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — A former pharmaceutical industry executive who also served in the Dept. of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush has been nominated to lead the department. President Donald Trump on Monday named Alex Azar as his pick for secretary of health and human services.

Azar was president of Eli Lilly from 2012 until January 2017, having joined the company in 2007 as senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications. In 2009, he was promoted to the role of vice president of managed healthcare services and Puerto Rico.

Prior to joining Lilly, Azar was deputy secretary of health and human services from 2005 to 2007, following four years as the department’s general counsel. Since January, he has worked as chairman and founder of biopharmaceutical and health insurance strategic counseling and consulting company Seraphim Strategies. He also serves as a member of the HMS board of directors.

The announcement was made as Trump finishes up his 12-day trip to Asia, with the president tweeting that Azar “will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”

If confirmed by the Senate, Azar will succeed Tom Price at the helm of the Health and Human Services Department, following Price’s resignation at the end of September. Since Price left the department over controversy sparked by his use of private jets since his confirmation in May, it has been led by acting secretary Don Wright.

Azar is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School.

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Dr. Reddy’s launches generic Vidaza in Canada

BY David Salazar
PRINCETON, N.J. — Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories recently introduced its generic of Vidaza (azacitidine for injection, 100 mg/vial) in Canada. The drug is indicated to treat patients with various subtyped of FAB myelodysplastic syndrome.
 
“Bringing azacitidine for injection to the Canadian market at this time is very important for us, as well as for our customers and their patients,” Dr. Reddy’s executive vice president and head of North America generics Alok Sonig said. “This launch represents Dr. Reddy’s commitment to make affordable injectable drugs available in Canada.”
 
Dr. Reddy’s said it is first to market this generic in Canada.

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Ohio looks to Appriss Health for PDMP enhancement

BY David Salazar

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy is partnering with Appriss Health to bolster the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, or OARRS. The reporting system will now offer access to Appriss Health’s NarxCare analytics and patient support platform to pharmacists and prescribers within their clinical workflow and through OARRS.

“This is another step in our commitment to utilize data in OARRS to better inform patient care,” State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy executive eirector Steven Schierholt said.

Ohio also uses Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway, which allows prescribers and pharmacies to access PDMP data through EHRs and pharmacy management systems. The PMP Gateway includes audit trail access, multi-state PDMP data within a workflow and more, in addition to the NarxCare platform, Appriss Health said.

“Ohio has long taken an aggressive and leading role towards addressing substance use disorder within its communities,” said Rob Cohen, President, Appriss Health. “Today, once again, Ohio has significantly strengthened its prescription drug monitoring program to give prescribers and pharmacists greater ability to help identify, manage, and prevent prescription drug abuse. Ohio’s forward-thinking leadership is at the forefront of facilitating earlier interventions, and better clinical outcomes, that can ultimately save lives.”

The implementation of Appriss Health’s technology was supported through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

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