News Briefs


Elite Pharmaceuticals appoints CFO

new hire employees teaser

Elite Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing and manufacturing niche generic products, is welcoming Robert Chen as its chief financial officer, effective May 16, 2022. Chen succeeds Marc Bregman.

Chen joins Elite with broad experience in financial and operational leadership for life science companies, both private and public, ranging from preclinical development to commercial operations.

The company said that Chen brings with him an extensive and diversified financial leadership background in the areas of financial reporting, including manufacturing, financial and cost accounting, SEC, GAAP, and IFRS, as well as financial planning and analysis.

“Robert is an outstanding addition to our executive team as a seasoned public company CFO with more than 20 years of operational experience," said Nasrat Hakim, president and CEO of Elite. "The board and I are looking forward to working with Robert."

Chen previously served in roles as CFO, vice president of finance and corporate controller primarily in the life sciences sector.

He most recently served as vice president of finance for KBP Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotech start-up. He also had financial positions at Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Victory Commercial Management, Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals and Taiho Oncology.

Chen has a bachelor's of science degree in business administration, accounting and a master's degree in accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a certified public accountant.


Rice Krispies Treats adds cinnamon sugar variety

Rice Krispies Treats Homestyle Cinnamon Sugar

There’s a new addition to the Rice Krispies Treats family.

The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company released Homestyle Cinnamon Sugar variety, which features fluffy marshmallows, golden butter and a sprinkle of warm cinnamon.

“Whether you’re a busy parent packing lunchboxes or a grown-up kid craving a taste of childhood, fans can enjoy this deliciously sticky, simple snack any time of day and be transported to a homey kitchen in just one bite,” said Heidi Ray, senior director of brand marketing at Kellogg’s portable wholesome snacks. “What’s more, this is the first-ever Cinnamon Sugar flavor for our Rice Krispies Treats brand, and we’re excited to add it to our beloved line of Homestyle bars.”

Rice Krispies Treats Homestyle Cinnamon Sugar is now available at grocery stores nationwide in a pack of six that retails for $3.99 and a pack of 12 for $5.24.


Endo acquires Nevakar’s injectable product candidates


Endo’s subsidiary Endo Ventures has acquired six development-stage, ready-to-use injectable product candidates from Nevakar Injectables.

"These six product candidates that would be used in critical care settings meaningfully expand Endo’s ready-to-use injectable product pipeline," Scott Sims, Endo senior vice president and general manager of injectable solutions and generics, said. "We look forward to further developing and bringing these durable and differentiated products to market — and to the healthcare providers and patients who need them."

The product candidates are in various stages of development, with the first launch expected in 2025. With the acquisition, Endo controls all remaining development, approval, launch and commercialization activities for these product candidates. Endo's Par Sterile Products business will commercialize the products in the United States.

EVL purchased the six product candidates from Nevakar Injectables for a one-time payment of $35 million. The one-time payment is expected to be expensed immediately in the second quarter as acquired in-process research and development costs. This acquisition is separate from Endo's previously announced exclusive licensing agreement with Nevakar.



Loblaw acquires Lifemark Health Group Français

lifemark shoppers drug mart

Loblaw has completed the previously announced acquisition of Lifemark Health Group from Audax Private Equity.

Lifemark is a leading provider of outpatient physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic mental health and other ancillary rehabilitation services in Canada. With this acquisition, Loblaw through its wholly owned subsidiary Shoppers Drug Mart, adds to its growing role as a healthcare service provider, with a network of health-and-wellness solutions accessible in person and digitally.

Loblaw is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, with a network of more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations in communities across the country. Loblaw's purpose — Live Life Well — supports the needs and well-being of Canadians who make 1 billion visits each year to the company's stores.

[Read more: Loblaw’s Shoppers Drug Mart to acquire Lifemark Health Group]

Led by Shoppers Drug Mart, the leader in Canada's retail drug store marketplace and the No. 1 provider of pharmacy products and services, Loblaw offers full-service pharmacies and a range of services like prescriptions, med checks, vaccinations, minor-ailment diagnoses and nutrition consultations in more than 1,800 locations in 10 provinces and 2 territories, including in Shoppers Drug Mart, PharmaPrix, Loblaw pharmacy, DRUGStore Pharmacy and CENTRESante locations.

Lifemark Health Group is a Canadian leader in community rehabilitation, workplace health and wellness and medical assessment services. With over 20 years of service excellence, Lifemark Health Group, a comprehensive and trusted health provider with 3 million patient visits annually, employs over 5,000 highly trained clinicians, medical experts and team members, the company said.

As Canada's largest physiotherapy company, Lifemark said that it is passionate about enriching the health of Canadians through movement.


BestRx joins forces with ScriptAbility

scriptalk box station

BestRx and ScriptAbility are poised to help independent pharmacies better care for patients with visual and language barriers via a partnership in which BestRx’s pharmacy management software is integrated with ScriptAbility.

ScriptAbility is part of En-Vision America, a company that provides high-tech products, including a variety of accessible pharmacy labels. 

ScriptAbility offers a robust and accessible cost-effective label option. This includes its ScripTalk RFID-enabled talking labels, ScriptView Large Print Labels, Dual-Language Labels, Braille Labels and Controlled Substance Safety Labels. By offering these accessible labels, pharmacies ensure all their patients can easily access and understand the dispensing instructions and safety information for their medications.

[Read more: BestRx announces scripClip interface]

Through the new integration, BestRx pharmacies can quickly produce these labels because ScriptAbility’s easy-to-use application can be accessed directly from the pharmacy management software. Instead of having to enter the patient’s information in the application, the patient and prescription details will auto populate with a few simple clicks, the companies said.

“If patients don’t understand their prescription labels, there’s a risk of mistakes. These mistakes can lead to hospitalization or even death,” said David Raistrick, president of En-Vision America. “Accessible prescription labels remove these risks and improve independence. We’re pleased to team up with BestRx. They are a proactive company that sees how accessible labels can improve medication adherence, as well as the overall quality of care for pharmacy patients.”

“BestRx continues to identify ways to help independent pharmacies provide better patient care while minimizing the impact on their daily workflow,” said Hemal Desai, president of BestRx. “This includes ensuring patients with impairments have access to information about their medications and treatment plan. Through our integration with ScriptAbility, BestRx pharmacies can quickly produce accessible prescription labels that will not only improve medication adherence, but the overall quality of care being provided as well."


Cardinal Health, URAC to offer accreditation for Cardinal's specialty pharmacies, practices

Depiction of collaboration.

Cardinal Health and URAC are joining forces to help Cardinal Health’s customers pursue accreditation for their specialty pharmacies and practices.

Leveraging insights from 70 operating outpatient pharmacies in 19 states, Cardinal Health offers pharmacies and medically integrated dispensaries a full range of solutions through its Specialty Pharmacy Services, including consultative support, assessments and new facility openings, as well as providing leadership and day-to-day management.

As part of the agreement with URAC, Cardinal Health customers will receive special pricing for new URAC accreditations, which validate that a pharmacy meets the most rigorous standards in the industry and demonstrates the value of the clinical services it provides.

[Read more: Cardinal Health reports revenue growth in Q3]

“Hospitals across the country continue to face challenges in minimizing the costs and complexity of specialty medications. Many are searching for ways to better manage this growing area of outpatient pharmaceutical spend more effectively,” said Peter Siavelis, senior vice president and general manager of acute care distribution and services at Cardinal Health. “Our agreement with URAC will further strengthen our commitment to providing the guidance and support needed to help hospitals and health systems determine the right path for their pharmacies.”

URAC accreditation also serves as a framework for ensuring quality within an organization by identifying areas for improvement through performance analysis and education. 

“Because of their role in serving patients with complex chronic illnesses, pharmacies are a critical and growing resource within the healthcare landscape,” said Jeffrey Carr, URAC’s vice president of business development. “We’re pleased to offer Cardinal Health preferred pricing for new accreditation to its customers nationwide, further validating the high-quality care they provide and their commitment to improving patient outcomes.”

[Read more: Cardinal Health to expand footprint in Columbus, Ohio]

Cardinal Health helps hospitals and health systems determine the right outpatient pharmacy approach for their facilities based on their unique goals and needs. These services also extend to federally qualified health centers, independent physician practices, independent pharmacies and dispensing clinicians.