PHARMACY

Walgreens, Lilly Diabetes partner on hypoglycemia education

BY Michael Johnsen

INDIANAPOLIS — Lilly Diabetes and Walgreens on Monday launched an awareness campaign at 43 Walgreens pharmacies throughout the Indianapolis area on the consequences of hypoglycemia.

"At Lilly Diabetes, we understand that managing diabetes extends beyond medicines to tools and resources that provide real, personalized solutions to improve the quality of everyday life," stated Steve Sugino, VP Lilly Diabetes. "This initiative will not only provide needed education, but will also ultimately help facilitate better discussions between pharmacists and people with diabetes that can lead to improved disease management."

The Lilly Diabetes-Walgreens approach is designed to complement the care and guidance people with diabetes receive from their healthcare providers. The campaign will be launched in 43 Walgreens stores in the Indianapolis area and will showcase Walgreens’ new approach to community pharmacy that includes making pharmacists more accessible for patient consultations. Based on customer feedback over the next six months, the companies will explore expanding the campaign in additional cities.

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Merck, Endocyte sign deal to develop cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Two drug makers have signed a deal to develop an experimental drug for treating two types of cancer.

Merck and Endocyte announced that they would develop and commercialize the latter’s drug EC145 (vintafolide), currently in a phase-3 trial, as a treatment for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and a phase-2 trial for non-small cell lung cancer. Both studies are also using Endocyte’s experimental diagnostic agent, EC20 (etarfolatide).

"Vintafolide is a promising and innovative late-stage cancer drug candidate," Merck Research Labs EVP and president Peter Kim said. "In addition to pursuing the lead indication of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, Merck plans to further evaluate its potential for treatment of multiple other cancer types."

Under the two companies’ agreement, Merck will pay Endocyte $120 million plus up to $880 million in milestone payments based on various development, regulatory and commercialization goals. If the drug receives regulatory approval, Endocyte also will receive an equal share of U.S. profits and a double-digit percentage of royalties on sales in other countries. Merck and Endocyte will market the drug together in the United States, while Merck will have the exclusive right to market it in other countries.


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Filling the need for specialty Rx

BY Alaric DeArment

With the rise in people diagnosed with complex illnesses like cancers, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, Crohn’s disease and rare genetic disorders, the need for specialty pharmacies to deal with the complex drug regimens they require will rise as well.


Hy-Vee made waves two years ago when it signed a deal with Omaha, Neb.-based specialty provider Amber Pharmacy to create Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, which offers specialty pharmacy services through Hy-Vee’s retail stores. In September, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield named Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions as its preferred provider of specialty pharmacy benefits for members.


“Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions’ customized patient programs, clinical expertise and dedication to customer service will allow Wellmark to deliver high-quality specialty pharmacy benefits while effectively managing costs,” Wellmark pharmacy director Matt Hosford said.

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