PHARMACY

Ryan gives CVS shareholders plenty to be happy about; tips off new specialty pharmacy pilot

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK News that CVS Caremark is conducting a pilot of a specialty pharmacy program in Florida not only speaks to the importance of the fastest-growing segment in pharmacy, but also provides a glimpse into the future of how the traditional drug store can participate in the brave new world of specialty pharmacy.

 

“It’s about access and it’s about ease and it’s about low cost, so you have a situation where typically you’d have to call to make sure someone was home as we’re deliver this medication because of the storage requirements, etc. Now they can pick it up in the store,” Tom Ryan, chairman, president and CEO, told analysts during the company’s May 5th first quarter conference call when asked about the growth of specialty pharmacy and new initiatives. Ryan noted that, overall, he expects specialty to grow in the 14% range.

 

 

He’s not the only one bullish on specialty, to be sure. While overall pharmaceutical growth has slowed considerably, the specialty pharmacy segment continues to explode. In March at the Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit in Las Vegas, keynote speaker Stan Blaylock, Walgreens SVP and president of the company’s managed division, Walgreens Health Initiatives, told attendees that the market could top $500 billion in the next 15 to 20 years. The market currently stands at about $70 billion to $80 billion.

 

 

But, operating a specialty pharmacy business in a typical community pharmacy setting is extremely tricky for several reasons including, but certainly not limited to, the cost of inventories and the high-touch patient requirements involved. The hub-and-spoke model that CVS is piloting is a glimpse into the future in terms of how the average corner drug store might be able to participate in specialty pharmacy. This participation could manifest as a central-fill type model — such as what CVS is employing where it will leverage its CarePlus stores and its resources in Caremark, which together represent an industry-leading $10 billion-specialty business, to fill specialty prescriptions in all of its Florida stores — or through some outside network, such as the one operated by Armada Health Care.

 

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OSI Pharmaceuticals EVP to present portfolio at diabetes and obesity conference

BY Allison Cerra

MELVILLE, N.Y. OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced Thursday that Anker Lundemose, M.D., EVP of OSI Pharmaceuticals will present at the Canaccord Adams Conference in New York, N.Y. on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 8:40 a.m. (Eastern Time).

Lundemose will provide an overview on the company’s diabetes/obesity product portfolio and business developments.

The presentation will be webcast live and may be accessed by visiting OSI’s Web site at www.osip.com. A replay of the Webcast will also be available on the Company’s Web site until May 26, 2009.

OSI Pharmaceuticals discover, develop and commercialize high-quality, novel and differentiated personalized medicines designed to extend life and improve the quality of life for patients with cancer and diabetes/obesity.

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FDA grants priority review to Prevnar 13

BY Alaric DeArment

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. The Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ application for the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 (diphtheria CRM[197] protein).

The company submitted the application for the vaccine, a 13-valent conjugate vaccine, on March 31.

Wyeth said it is seeking approval for Prevnar 13 for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease and otitis media caused by the 13 serotypes in the vaccine in children ages 2 months to 5 years. Prevnar 13 includes six serotypes in addition to the seven in the earlier version of Prevnar.

“Since its launch in 2000, our seven-valent pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar, has significantly reduced the incidence of pneumococcal disease among infants and young children in the United States,” Wyeth Pharmaceuticals EVP vaccine research and development Emilio Emini said. “Recently, however, disease due to pneumococcal serotypes not found in Prevnar, particularly serotype 19A, have increased in prevalence in many regions of the world and are a significant public health concern.”

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