PHARMACY

Cardinal Health acquires Mirixa

BY Sandra Levy

Cardinal Health has acquired Mirixa, a leading provider of technology-enabled solutions for the provision of medication therapy management, from the National Community Pharmacists Association.

The business will integrate into OutcomesMTM at Cardinal Health.

This expanded portfolio from Cardinal Health will bring payers an enhanced pharmacy services network and will standardize care delivery, documentation and billing for MTM services, according to Cardinal Health.

“For many years, OutcomesMTM and Mirixa have shared a common vision to increase healthcare quality and decrease cost through the appropriate use of medication,” Tom Halterman, Cardinal Health’s vice president of medication therapy management solutions and founder of OutcomesMTM, said. “We are excited about this opportunity to unite these two companies and continue to advance this shared vision under the Cardinal Health umbrella.”

Merging the technology platforms deployed by Mirixa and OutcomesMTM is an important priority of the transaction, the companies said. In addition, this combination simplifies the workflow for pharmacy staffs in retail, clinic and long-term care settings, allowing them to more effectively deliver services to patients.

“When the integration is complete, pharmacists will no longer need to sign in to multiple portals to navigate their MTM opportunities,” Halterman said. “A single, standardized platform will enable any health plan to connect their members with over 100,000 U.S. pharmacists.”

Through the platform, such clinical services as comprehensive medication reviews, medication adherence consultations and other important interventions can be deployed.

“The original objective of Mirixa was to empower and enable independent community pharmacists, which is a vision this integration with OutcomesMTM and Cardinal Health seeks to continue,” NCPA CEO Doug Hoey said.

“In addition to benefiting pharmacists, who can work more closely with patients and be reimbursed for high-touch care, MTM services also result in increased adherence to medications. That increased adherence saves money for health plans, employers and taxpayers in the form of reduced healthcare costs overall,” Hoey said.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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PHARMACY

Amgen cuts prices for Repatha devices

BY Sandra Levy

Amgen announced today that all Repatha (evolocumab) device options, including the prefilled syringe and Pushtronex — on-body infusor with prefilled cartridge — are now available at a 60% reduced list price of $5,850 per year.

The most commonly used delivery system, the Repatha SureClick autoinjector, was made available at the lower list price of $5,850 in October 2018. The lower priced Repatha options are identical to the Repatha options currently available, but have been introduced to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients, especially Medicare patients, the company said.

“Every 40 seconds, someone in America has a heart attack or stroke, making cardiovascular disease one of the country’s most significant health challenges,” Murdo Gordon, Amgen’s executive vice president of global commercial operations, said. “Repatha can help to address this significant public health issue, which is why we are working hard to improve patient affordability by lowering Repatha’s list price to improve patient co-pays, especially for Medicare patients.”

Eighty percent of current Repatha Medicare patients have access to Repatha at the new lower list price through their plans. Additionally, more patients now can fill a Repatha prescription at a retail pharmacy because a number of large payers are reclassifying Repatha as a non-specialty therapy.

“The lower list price announced in October has been received very positively by patients, physicians and payers, and we are already seeing a noticeable impact for patients,” Gordon said. “However, more must be done to help more patients get to a low fixed co-pay. We need continued engagement from all stakeholders — from healthcare professionals to payers to plans and to government agencies — to help ensure patients benefit from the lower list price to reduce their out-of-pocket costs.”

The Pushtronex system is a hands-free device that provides 420 mg of Repatha once monthly in a single dose. The device adheres to the body during administration. Patients are able to perform moderate physical activities, such as walking, reaching or bending as the 420 mg of Repatha is delivered subcutaneously. The prefilled syringe and SureClick are administered once every two weeks.

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Cardinal Health Foundation provides grant for Ohio opioid initiative

BY Sandra Levy

In its continuing effort to reduce opioid misuse and abuse, the Cardinal Health Foundation is providing a $530,000 grant to the Ohio Hospital Association to identify and deploy best opioid prescribing practices for pain management among OHA member hospitals across the state.

This OHA initiative will engage hospitals in a first of its kind statewide collaborative to gather and share benchmark data around opioid prescribing practices, based on physician specialty, patient diagnosis and other variables, with the goal of producing more effective pain management and better patient outcomes with fewer opioids prescribed, the company said.

“Cardinal Health and OHA care deeply about the devastation prescription drug misuse has caused and are committed to working toward a solution to the opioid epidemic,” Cardinal Health vice president of community relations Jessie Cannon said. “Under the umbrella of Generation Rx and our Opioid Action Program, we are pleased to support OHA in its work to refine opioid prescribing in communities across the state.”

“Ensuring prescribers can compare their prescribing habits with their peers is considered an important step in improving best practices,” OHA senior vice president of quality and data Amy Andres said. When we have established benchmark data, we’ll work with hospitals to target opioid prescribing levels to better support patients with chronic pain.”

Patients prescribed opioids in Ohio has decreased from 2.3 million in 2016 to 1.9 million in 2017, according to the latest report from the Ohio Automated RX Reporting System, the company said.

“From the inception of this project, OHA and Cardinal Health agreed that our focus would be on programs and services designed to significantly impact the opioid epidemic in Ohio,” OHA president and CEO Mike Abrams said. “I am confident that this partnership will strengthen the ability of our member hospitals, as well as physicians across Ohio, to combat opioid misuse and abuse.”

To date, 62 Ohio hospitals have committed to participating in the OHA initiative to reduce opioids prescribed.

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