PHARMACY

Walgreens’ 90-Day at Retail program garners big savings for Navitus’ PBM clients

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — An alliance between a drug store chain and a national pharmacy benefit manager resulted in more than $3 million in savings over a seven-month period for the PBM clients.

Walgreens said by offering its 90-Day at Retail program to Navitus Health Solutions, which gives all covered members of Navitus PBM clients the 90-day supply option for certain medications from local community pharmacies, resulted in $3.3 million in savings in seven months. What’s more, the implementation of the program also has led to an additional six to 11 percentage point improvement in the generic dispensing rate  for 90-Day at Retail prescriptions (up to 77.3%) when compared with those filled via mail. This increase is generally driven by the benefit of the face-to-face interaction with the pharmacist where the patient is being advised, if appropriate, that there is a cheaper generic alternative, Walgreens noted.

Walgreens also reported that the penetration rate of its 90-Day at Retail program increased more than 67%. More than 1 million people covered through the Navitus network currently have access to the 90-Day at Retail program.

The program was initiated in February and was measured through September, Walgreens said.

“Results from Navitus’ clients demonstrate what we already know; namely that when they are given the option and made aware of it, employers and consumers see significant value in 90-Day at Retail, and the program can drive lower costs,”said Colin Watts, Walgreens chief innovation officer. “This is key for payers, such as Navitus, who also need to measure and improve outcomes for their members, and is part of the reason our unique set of healthcare solutions is increasingly resonating with payers and employers.”

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PHARMACY

Ranbaxy launches generic Aricept

BY Allison Cerra

GURGAON, India, and PRINCETON, N.J. — Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals has received final approval for its generic Alzheimer’s drug from the Food and Drug Administration, giving the drug maker 180 days of market exclusivity.

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Ranbaxy Labs, will manufacture and market donepezil hydrochloride tablets, a generic version of Aricept, in the 5-mg and 10-mg strength in the United States.

"We are pleased to announce the launch of donepezil, which expands Ranbaxy’s portfolio of affordable generic pharmaceuticals. Ranbaxy’s generic formulation of Aricept will benefit the U.S. healthcare system by providing a more affordable treatment option to patients, which will have a positive impact on escalating U.S. healthcare costs," said Bill Winter, VP trade sales at RPI.

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Impax confirms patent challenge for generic Concerta

BY Allison Cerra

HAYWARD, Calif. — A generic version of a drug indicated to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has hit a roadblock.

Impax Labs on Tuesday confirmed that Alza Corp., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johson, filed a patent infringement suit against Impax in connection with Concerta (methylphenidate hydrochloride) extended-release 54-mg tablets. Impax filed its abbreviated new drug application for a generic version of Concerta with the Food and Drug Administration in November 2002, and submitted Paragraph IV patent certifications in connection with two patents that were listed in the FDA’s Orange Book in 2005.

Impax said its generic Concerta products are part of its strategic alliance agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals. Once the ANDA is approved by the FDA, Teva will commercialize the products, the drug maker said.

U.S. sales of Concerta in the 54-mg strength approximately were $365 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, according to Wolters Kluwer.

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