E-prescribing bill clears Senate panel
An e-prescribing bill backed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has cleared a key hurdle in the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee has passed the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, little more than a month after the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed its House counterpart.
The bill would require that all schedule II through IV controlled substances covered under Medicare Part D be prescribed electronically as a deterrent against abuse, fraud and waste.
“NACDS appreciates the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee in advancing the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, which is consistent with NACDS’ policy recommendations to help further address the opioid abuse epidemic,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “NACDS’ recommendations are based on pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare delivery. Enhanced use of electronic prescribing is an important part of the comprehensive effort to keep opioids out of the wrong hands, and we urge continued vigilance to assure enactment of this legislation.”
The legislation was introduced by Sens. Michael Bennet and Dean Heller, with original co-sponsors Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Pat Toomey.
A January Morning Consult poll commissioned by NACDS found 76% of respondents saying that they supported rules that all prescriptions must be handled electronically as a way to address the opioid abuse epidemic.
Acquisition brings Benzer to Empire State
Benzer Pharmacy’s latest acquisition is marking the company’s entry into New York state. The Tampa, Fla.-based company recently finalized the purchase of Amenia, N.Y. drug store Drug World Pharmacy.
Benzer acquisition manager Carly Tan said that the New York market has been in Benzer’s crosshairs for years, with a beginning goal of establishing an introductory footprint in the Empire State.
“The Benzer Pharmacy acquisitions department believes the acquisition of Drug World Pharmacy in Amenia, New York is a symbol of what’s to come in the Northeast and across the country,” Tan said. “That mission will continue as we seek to increase the number and visibility of Benzer Pharmacy locations on a state-by-state and region-by-region basis in the months and years ahead.”
Benzer now operates more than 65 corporate locations and has roughly 20 franchisee locations in 10 states.
Strides’ generic Tamiflu approved
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Strides Pharma’s generic Tamiflu capsules (oseltamivir phosphate capsules). The drug is indicated to treat symptoms caused by the flu virus and shorten recovery time.
The Strides Shasun subsidiary said that the product has seen volume growth in the past year due to a strong flu season. IQVIA data shows a market size for generic Tamiflu of roughly $725 million for the 12 months ended April 2018. Strides said the product would be manufactured at its oral dosage facility and Bangalore.
The product will be available in 30-, 45- and 75-mg (base) dosage strengths.