PHARMACY

Geisinger and Merck unveil Medtrue and Family Caregiver apps

BY Sandra Levy

In an effort to improve health outcomes, Geisinger and Merck have teamed up to introduce two apps that are embedded directly within the electronic medical record, or EMR, and in the healthcare provider’s workflow for optimal use of clinical and patient-reported data during patient appointments. Both workflow solutions also can be used by patients at home.

The applications use SMART on FHIR (Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies/Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) technology, an open, standards-based platform for utilizing data from disparate EMRs.

One of the workflow solutions, dubbed MedTrue App, integrates different medication data sources to assist with medication reconciliation and adherence, resulting in a patient and healthcare team-verified medication list. The app features a patient web interface for patient-reported medication verification, changes, and adherence, accessible in the home or upon arrival at a healthcare facility. In addition, it has a healthcare team web interface through the patient’s EMR for point-of-care access to the patient’s validated medication list and adherence report.

“We know from prior work that about 70% of our medication lists are inaccurate, and these inaccuracies can lead to medical errors,” Mike Evans, VP of enterprise pharmacy and chief pharmacy officer at Geisinger, said. “The MedTrue application provides an interface that seeks to clean up medication lists, so patients and providers can be on the same page regarding medication use and better care decisions can be made.”

The second workflow solution making its debut is called The Family Caregiver Application. It is intended to help two-way communications and coordination of care for patients and their caregivers.
The Family Caregiver Application features include a calendar that integrates medical and personal appointments and helps coordinate medical care (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.); and a patient-managed medication scheduler based on daily activities.

“Our collaboration with Merck has allowed both of our organizations to leverage our individual strengths, expertise and resources to better enable a shared decision-making process through healthcare technology,” David Ledbetter, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Geisinger, said. “Providing these tools for patients and family caregivers — tested within our own system — enables patients to be more active in healthcare decisions and could increase the likelihood that patients will adhere to their treatment plans and lead healthier lives.”

The app allows patients to express preferences, values, and items/activities that are important to patients beyond the treatment of their disease and provides information on health care team members, including roles and contact numbers. There is also a journal-like feature to write notes that allows a narrative-driven dialogue during the healthcare encounter.

“Our experience in collaborating with Geisinger, a progressive, integrated delivery system, has given us many insights on the development and testing of solutions to improve patient care and we are confident these applications can be successful with other health systems,” Lisa French, associate vice president of strategy and commercial model innovation of the U.S. market at Merck, said. “We are excited to begin the next phase of our work together, as we actively explore the expanded use and commercialization of these applications with other stakeholders in the healthcare system.”

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PHARMACY

Emergent BioSolutions to acquire PaxVax

BY Sandra Levy

Emergent BioSolutions has entered into an agreement to acquire PaxVax, a company focused on specialty vaccines that protect against existing and emerging infectious diseases, for $270 million. The majority of PaxVax is owned by an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management.

Emergent will acquire Vivotif (typhoid vaccine live oral Ty21a), the only oral vaccine licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of typhoid fever, a potentially severe and life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium S. Typhi. Vivotif is licensed for sale in 27 countries.

The company will also acquire Vaxchora (cholera vaccine live oral), the only FDA-licensed vaccine for the prevention of cholera caused by Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1, a potentially serious intestinal disease, according to the company.

“The acquisition of PaxVax solidifies our position as a global leader in the public health threats market, expands our portfolio of only-in-class products, advances our growth strategy, and progresses us towards the achievement of our 2020 financial and operational goals,” Daniel Abdun-Nabi, CEO of Emergent BioSolutions, said.

The acquisition includes an Adenovirus 4/7 vaccine candidate being developed for military personnel under contract with the U.S. Department of Defense and additional clinical-stage vaccine candidates targeting Chikungunya and other emerging infectious diseases.

“Importantly, we believe this acquisition will contribute incremental 2019 revenues of $70 million to $90 million and be accretive by the end of 2019. We look forward to continuing to drive growth in the business by building on the successes of PaxVax in the travelers market, leveraging our core competencies in government contracting and manufacturing, and advancing the development pipeline while remaining disciplined in our approach to R&D,” Abdun-Nabi said.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We are excited to capitalize on this unique opportunity to acquire a portfolio of marketed vaccines supported by established commercial capabilities and global distribution partners that will enable us to diversify our customer base and expand our reach internationally,” Abigail Jenkin, SVP and head of the vaccines and anti-infectives business unit at Emergent BioSolutions said. “We look forward to merging the teams and growing our vaccines business to positively impact public health.”

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Alembic gains FDA tentative approval for generic Latisse

BY Sandra Levy

Alembic Pharmaceuticals has received tentative approval from the Food & Drug Administration for bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03% for the treatment of hypotrichosis of the eyelashes by increasing their growth including length, thickness and darkness.

The product is the generic of Allergan’s Latisse ophthalmic solution 0.03%

Bimatoprost ophthalmic solution’s market size is estimated at $63 million for the 12 months ended December 2017, according to IQVIA.

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