Content about Government

December 12, 2011

Following months of meetings and negotiations with the drug and chemical industries, the Food and Drug Administration has released a draft of the goals of the Generic Drug User Fee Act.

WASHINGTON — Following months of meetings and negotiations with the drug and chemical industries, the Food and Drug Administration has released a draft of the goals of the Generic Drug User Fee Act.

December 8, 2011

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has appointed a new executive who will help guide the organization's newly created research and education institute.

WASHINGTON — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association has appointed a new executive who will help guide the organization's newly created research and education institute.

The organization announced Thursday the appointment of Ahaviah Glaser as VP policy and strategic alliances. Glaser previously was a member of AARP's government affairs team.

December 5, 2011

Bankrupt grocer A&P has announced that the Locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union have ratified modifications to the collective bargaining agreements with the company — a key step toward completing the company’s financial restructuring.

MONTVALE, N.J. — Bankrupt grocer A&P has announced that the Locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union have ratified modifications to the collective bargaining agreements with the company — a key step toward completing the company’s financial restructuring.

December 5, 2011

Following the settlement of a patent-litigation suit with Swiss drug maker Novartis over the patch Vivelle-Dot (estradiol transdermal system), a drug for treating symptoms of menopause, Mylan said it had received a patent license to begin selling its version of the drug in December 2013.


SUPPLIER NEWS — Following the settlement of a patent-litigation suit with Swiss drug maker Novartis over the patch Vivelle-Dot (estradiol transdermal system), a drug for treating symptoms of menopause, Mylan said it had received a patent license to begin selling its version of the drug in December 2013.


The Pittsburgh-based generic drug maker was the first to file for regulatory approval of the drug with the Food and Drug Administration, and as such will be entitled to 180 days of 
market exclusivity.


December 1, 2011

Generic drug maker Mylan and a partnering company are challenging the patent on a contraceptive drug.

PITTSBURGH — Generic drug maker Mylan and a partnering company are challenging the patent on a contraceptive drug.

Mylan said Thursday that it and Famy Care had been sued by Warner Chilcott in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey following their filing of a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol chewable tablets and ferrous fumarate chewable tablets, a generic version of Warner Chilcott's Generess Fe.

November 28, 2011

The Obama administration confirmed last week that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Donald Berwick will step down from his post on Dec. 2.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration confirmed last week that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Donald Berwick will step down from his post on Dec. 2.

Berwick, who was nominated to the position by President Obama in April 2010, was supposed to lead the agency through the end of the year as part of his recess appointment.

Marilyn Tavenner, CMS principal deputy administrator, will succeed Berwick, according to a statement made by Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

November 28, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration last week took legal action against the dietary supplement manufacturer ATF Fitness Products for substituting ingredients and products without noting the changes on the final product labels.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration last week took legal action against the dietary supplement manufacturer ATF Fitness Products for substituting ingredients and products without noting the changes on the final product labels.

The permanent injunction, filed on behalf of the FDA by the U.S. Department of Justice, would stop the defendants from making and distributing more than 400 products for being in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Brands include Sci-Fit, Nature's Science and For Store Only.

November 22, 2011

The recent approval of a 10% reimbursement rate cut in California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has prompted provider groups to file a lawsuit against the California Department of Healthcare Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that the cuts did not follow proper legal channels.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The recent approval of a 10% reimbursement rate cut in California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has prompted provider groups to file a lawsuit against the California Department of Healthcare Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that the cuts did not follow proper legal channels.

November 21, 2011

Many so-called restricted-network Medicare Part D prescription drug plans don't give adequate pharmacy access to rural residents and are deceptively marketed to patients, the National Community Pharmacists Association said Monday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Many so-called restricted-network Medicare Part D prescription drug plans don't give adequate pharmacy access to rural residents and are deceptively marketed to patients, the National Community Pharmacists Association said Monday.

The plans include those offered by a number of national retail chains and health insurers.

November 17, 2011

Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions is buying PBM service company HealthTrans for $250 million, SXC said Thursday.

LISLE, Ill. — Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions is buying PBM service company HealthTrans for $250 million, SXC said Thursday.

Based in Colorado with additional offices in Illinois, Florida and Georgia, HealthTrans provides PBM and healthcare information technology services to about 260 clients, and its PBM business includes a suite of PBM offerings, such as nationwide retail network, formulary and rebate management, Medicare Part D services and mail order.

November 15, 2011

The generic drug lobby is stepping up its efforts to persuade the congressional super committee to avoid adopting rules that would ban some patent settlements between branded and generic drug makers.

WASHINGTON — The generic drug lobby is stepping up its efforts to persuade the congressional super committee to avoid adopting rules that would ban some patent settlements between branded and generic drug makers.

November 11, 2011

Legislation that would level the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers, including pharmacies, by closing a loophole that puts them at a disadvantage with online retailers has received praise from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Legislation that would level the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers, including pharmacies, by closing a loophole that puts them at a disadvantage with online retailers has received praise from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wy., is the sponsor of the Marketplace Fairness Act and serves as the ranking Republican member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

November 10, 2011

With the cost of employee healthcare benefits on the rise, public employers are under increased pressure to contain costs while also providing benefits that help them maintain a healthy work force and attract the best employees. One solution to consider: on-site health clinics, according to a recently released study.

NEW YORK — With the cost of employee healthcare benefits on the rise, public employers are under increased pressure to contain costs while also providing benefits that help them maintain a healthy work force and attract the best employees. One solution to consider: on-site health clinics, according to a recently released study.

November 10, 2011

More than 1-out-of-4 U.S. adults were unable to pay or encountered problems paying medical bills in the past year, according to a new survey published by the Commonwealth Fund.

CHICAGO — More than 1-out-of-4 U.S. adults were unable to pay or encountered problems paying medical bills in the past year, according to a new survey published by the Commonwealth Fund.

November 10, 2011

Employers and consumers alike are adopting health savings accounts as a viable way to manage their healthcare costs without compromising care, according to two national surveys released Thursday.

DALLAS — Employers and consumers alike are adopting health savings accounts as a viable way to manage their healthcare costs without compromising care, according to two national surveys released Thursday.

November 8, 2011

In response to a new second set of limits on generic drug pharmacy reimbursement that recently were proposed by federal Medicaid officials, the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday reiterated its concerns with what the group characterized as the "flawed methodology" being used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine the payment caps.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In response to a new second set of limits on generic drug pharmacy reimbursement that recently were proposed by federal Medicaid officials, the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday reiterated its concerns with what the group characterized as the "flawed methodology" being used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine the payment caps.

NCPA requested a meeting with CMS officials on the matter.
 

November 4, 2011

A bill proposed in Congress would give states incentives for using generic drugs through the Medicaid program.

WASHINGTON — A bill proposed in Congress would give states incentives for using generic drugs through the Medicaid program.

November 3, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved 35 new drugs over the past 12 months, the agency said Thursday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved 35 new drugs over the past 12 months, the agency said Thursday.

November 1, 2011

Employee wellness experts from Babcock & Wilcox, Caesars Entertainment and others spoke to the synergies that such a company as Walgreens' Take Care Health Systems can create across their health management strategies during a panel discussion at the National Conference on Health, Productivity and Human Capital hosted by the National Business Group on Health

BOSTON — Employee wellness experts from Babcock & Wilcox, Caesars Entertainment and others spoke to the synergies that such a company as Walgreens' Take Care Health Systems can create across their health management strategies during a panel discussion here last week at the National Conference on Health, Productivity and Human Capital hosted by the National Business Group on Health.

Representing businesses that collectively employ more than 120,000 workers, the panelists discussed a number of emerging themes in employer-sponsored health care, including:

October 31, 2011

President Barack Obama issued an executive order Monday to address the growing problem of drug shortages.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama issued an executive order Monday to address the growing problem of drug shortages.

October 28, 2011

Standard monthly premiums under Medicare Part B will be $99.90 in 2012, $6.70 under the projected figure made by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS announced Thursday.

WASHINGTON — Standard monthly premiums under Medicare Part B will be $99.90 in 2012, $6.70 under the projected figure made by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS announced Thursday.

This year's Medicare Part B premium is a $15.50 decrease over the standard 2011 premium of $115.40 paid by new enrollees and higher income Medicare beneficiaries and by Medicaid on behalf of low-income enrollees, HHS said. Additionally, the Medicare Part B deductible will be $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011.

October 28, 2011

The program to offer certain generic drugs virtually for free to Medicare Part D beneficiaries is one of Rite Aid’s many new ways to attract more customers and thus grow its sales and profits, especially in the pharmacy.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The program to offer certain generic drugs virtually for free to Medicare Part D beneficiaries is one of Rite Aid’s many new ways to attract more customers and thus grow its sales and profits, especially in the pharmacy.

(THE NEWS: Rite Aid partners with Envision Insurance Co. to offer Medicare Part D Rx drug plan. For the full story, click here)

October 27, 2011

If employers want to best manage the health and productivity of their employees, they need to continue company-sponsored health plans — that was a key message that Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, had for attendees at the National Business Group on Health's annual meeting on Thursday.

BOSTON — If employers want to best manage the health and productivity of their employees, they need to continue company-sponsored health plans — that was a key message that Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, had for attendees at the National Business Group on Health's annual meeting on Thursday.

October 25, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission released a report Tuesday finding that drug companies entered 28 deals that the FTC called anticompetitive and said would increase healthcare costs for consumers and the government.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission released a report Tuesday finding that drug companies entered 28 deals that the FTC called anticompetitive and said would increase healthcare costs for consumers and the government.

The FTC, which under the leadership of chairman Jon Leibowitz, repeatedly has attacked what it calls "pay-for-delay" deals between branded and generic drug manufacturers and has been lobbying the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, to ban the deals.

October 25, 2011

Medicare Part D beneficiaries will be able to obtain hundreds of generic drugs without any deductible or co-pay under a new program offered by Rite Aid.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Medicare Part D beneficiaries will be able to obtain hundreds of generic drugs without any deductible or co-pay under a new program offered by Rite Aid.

The retail pharmacy chain announced Tuesday that it had partnered with Envision Insurance Co. to offer a value-focused prescription drug plan for Medicare Part D Open Enrollment 2012. Rite Aid EnvisionRx Plus offers beneficiaries a plan with a $0 deductible and $0 co-pays, including during the coverage gap, also known as the donut hole.