Mallinckrodt to spin specialty generics business off to shareholders
Specialty pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt will be creating a new company focused on specialty generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients by spinning that business and its Amitiza (lubiprostone) off to its shareholders. The move, which is subject to board approval, would create two independent, publicly traded companies — one of which offers branded specialty products, the other offering niche specialty generics and API manufacturing.
“Today’s announcement is another important step forward in our journey to become an innovation-driven, pure-play, specialty pharmaceutical brands growth company,” said Mallinckrodt president and CEO Mark Trudeau — who will lead the “remaining” specialty brands business after the separation.
Mallinckrodt’s specialty generics business saw net sales of more than $850 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 28, which includes sales of Amitiza since Feb. 14. The new company would have roughly 1,600 employees and a leading acetaminophen business, with a portfolio that includes API and generic finished dose forms of controlled substances and other products, a specialty generics development pipeline, and a solid U.S. manufacturing footprint, Mallinckrodt said.
Mallinckrodt said it expects the move to be complete in the second half of 2019 or sooner. The spun-off company is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and assume the Mallinckrodt name and ticker symbol, MNK. Matthew Harbaugh, who currently serves as Mallinckrodt’s executive vice president, CFO and president of the specialty generics business, is expected to become president and CEO of the new company. Harbaugh will be stepping down as CFO to focus on the separation, the company said.
“Mallinckrodt has a more than 150-year legacy of operations in St. Louis and a proud history of supplying the highest-quality products to customers,” Harbaugh said. As an independent, U.S.-based company, I am confident that we will be well positioned to advance our R&D capabilities and continue to maintain our category leadership in controlled substances.”
The specialty brands company will be led by Trudeau under a new name that will be chosen at a later date. George Kegler has been named interim CFO. The remaining business will encompass a branded specialty pharmaceutical arm that saw more than $2.3 billion in net sales for the 12 months ended Sept. 28. It includes such hospital products as INOmax, Ofirmev and Therakos.
AllianceRx Walgreens Prime Survey uncovers medication management habits
A recent survey commissioned by home delivery and specialty pharmacy AllianceRx Walgreens Prime is uncovering how patients manage their prescriptions — and steps they can take to make the task easier.
Though the survey found that 57% of adults said they take prescription medicine regularly, it also found that 48% said they found it somewhat to very frustrating — nearly as many said they found doing taxes somewhat or very frustrating. Additionally, the survey found an interest in being proactive, with 52% of respondents noting they’re likely to start in October or November to avoid issues around new health insurance benefits that start Jan. 1. And 41% said they had already signed up for text or email notifications from their pharmacy.
“The survey results affirm steps we are already taking to make life easier for our patients,” said John Stephens, vice president of transformation and strategy at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. “We recently improved our website to allow patients convenient, 24-hour access to order refills and track orders. We’re also increasing staff and expanding hours of operations to get our patients their medicine during the new year.”
In light of the survey results, AllianceRx recommended taking the following five steps to improve the experience of managing prescriptions easier:
- Use online tools — AllianceRx Walgreens Prime noted that its website allows patients to manage their prescriptions;
- Ask pharmacists about prior authorizations — If prior authorizations are required, the pharmacy might need new insurance information to update financial assistance and co-pay info;
- Ask health plans about medication coverage — Checking how medication coverage might change in a new plan year can help with planning copay costs;
- Ask doctors about appointments — Keeping in contact with physicians about prescription refills can make scheduling necessary appointments easier; and
- Ask doctors to verify the pharmacy they e-prescribe — Patients can verify with their doctor which pharmacy is listed on their record and make necessary updates.
Walgreens, FedEx partner on next-day Rx delivery nationwide
Walgreens and FedEx are teaming up to deliver on convenience for patients. The companies have launched Walgreens Express, a service that will provide next-day delivery nationwide, as well as same-day delivery in select markets.
Patients who are enrolled in Walgreens text alerts will get a text message notification when their qualifying prescriptions are ready. They can then follow a process to choose to have their prescription delivered the next day for a $4.99 fee. To be eligible, prescriptions must be received by 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Though Walgreens said most prescription orders are available to be delivered by the next business day, it said some prescription benefit plans and insurance plans do not allow home delivery, encouraging patients to talk to a pharmacist with any questions.
“Walgreens is driven by a desire to make health care accessible to all across the thousands of communities we serve,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. “Next-day prescription home delivery is another convenience-driver, alongside our industry-leading number of extended-hours pharmacies and one of the most downloaded digital apps in the category, designed to put care in the hands of our patients. This expansion of our alliance with FedEx illustrates our commitment to making filling prescriptions as fast and easy as possible.”
Walgreens Express allows patients to preview their cost, prepay for prescriptions that can be delivered and choose between delivery or in-store pickup. If they choose to pick the prescription up in-store, they can use a dedicated Walgreens Express pickup checkout line in the store.
“FedEx and Walgreens are empowering consumers to choose when and where they receive their orders,” said Randy Scarborough, vice president of retail marketing at FedEx Services. “Just as FedEx package pick-up and drop-off services at Walgreens locations provide customers with much-needed convenience, the ability to ship prescription medication directly from Walgreens to their homes offers valuable flexibility to best meet individual needs and schedules.”
Currently, patients in Dallas; Chicago; New York City; Miami; Gainseville, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., can choose same-day delivery, with Walgreens planning to expand the offering in 2019.