PHARMACY

Watson donates medicines to help Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

BY Alaric DeArment

STAMFORD, Conn. — Actavis has donated $200,000 worth of medicines to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy, a charity organization said Thursday.

AmeriCares announced that it donated the antibiotics, pediatric medicines and other drugs to healthcare providers helping affected families in New York and New Jersey within days of the storm. Actavis was acquired earlier this year by Watson Pharmaceuticals.

"Actavis responded swiftly and generously to meet the medical needs of storm victims," AmeriCares VP corporate relations Geoff Kneisel said. "The company’s donations were an amazing help and were immediately delivered to healthcare providers and first responders in the most devastated areas."


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Mylan, Orion settle Parkinson’s disease drug case

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Generic drug maker Mylan has settled with Orion over a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease, Mylan said Thursday.

The company said it reached a settlement with Orion to resolve patent litigation concerning a generic version of Orion’s drug Comtan (entacapone) tablets in the 200-mg strength. The drug is used with levodopa-carbidopa therapy to treat Parkinson’s patients who experience signs and symptoms of end-of-dose "wearing off."

Under the agreement, Mylan can launch a generic version of Comtan on April 1, 2013. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Food and Drug Administration records, the two patents covering Comtan expire in October 2013 and September 2018.

Entacapone tablets in the 200-mg strength had sales of about $104.9 million during the 12-month period that ended in September 2012, according to IMS Health.


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Study finds increase in retail co-pays for prescription drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

PLANO, Texas — Retail co-pays for drugs are on the rise across all drug types, according to a new study by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.

The study, based on a survey of 424 U.S. employers representing about 3.7 million members, found that retail co-pays increased 10% for generics, 13% for branded drugs and 26% for specialty drugs. Meanwhile, there was an increase in use of multitier designs, which now represent 92% of plan sponsors, while adoption of medication therapy management for commercial populations was "minimal."

"Readers of this report can expect to see all of the survey results broken out by larger and smaller employers, a new change for this year," PBMI executive director Brenda Motheral said. "This report is the only industry report that captures data provided by plan sponsors about their pharmacy discount rates; and this year, we had a record number of plan sponsors sharing details about their pharmacy reimbursement and rebate amounts."

The differential gap between tiers continued to grow, as the average differential between generic and preferred brand co-pays was $19, compared to $7 in 2007. The average differential between preferred and nonpreferred co-pays was $23, compared with $13 in 2007.


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