Content about Pharmaceuticals policy

April 24, 2013

Generic drug maker Hospira marked its fifth year marketing knock-off versions of biotech drugs in Europe Wednesday as it presented at the 2013 Biotechnology Industry Organization International Convention this week.

CHICAGO — Generic drug maker Hospira marked its fifth year marketing knock-off versions of biotech drugs in Europe Wednesday as it presented at the 2013 Biotechnology Industry Organization International Convention this week.

The drug maker said it delivered more than 5 million doses of biosimilar medicines to patients in Europe and Australia. The convention includes multiple sessions devoted to such topics as biosimilar regulatory approval, manufacturing and market formation, the company said.

April 24, 2013

A dramatic jump in the rates of misuse of prescription stimulants over the past four years is linked to lax attitudes on the part of parents, according to a new study, though misuse and abuse of prescription opioids has remained flat.

NEW YORK — A dramatic jump in the rates of misuse of prescription stimulants over the past four years is linked to lax attitudes on the part of parents, according to a new study, though misuse and abuse of prescription opioids has remained flat.

April 23, 2013

Cardinal Health's philanthropic division is offering grants to organizations for programs to prevent abuse and misuse of prescription drugs.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health's philanthropic division is offering grants to organizations for programs to prevent abuse and misuse of prescription drugs.

The Cardinal Health Foundation said it was inviting non-profits in 18 locations around the country, as well as Puerto Rico, to apply for grant funding. The announcement marks the fourth year of the foundation's Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse Prevention Grant Program.

April 23, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has launched an interactive map that allows users to find licensed online pharmacies by searching through states' board of pharmacy databases.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has launched an interactive map that allows users to find licensed online pharmacies by searching through states' board of pharmacy databases.

April 21, 2013

Last month, the Supreme Court heard Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, which could impact the future of the generic drug industry at a time when 80% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States are generic.

Last month, the Supreme Court heard Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, which could impact the future of the generic drug industry at a time when 80% of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States are generic.

April 19, 2013

A report released yesterday by the Bipartisan Policy Center, entitled “A Bipartisan Rx for Patient-Centered Care and System-Wide Cost Containment,” contains a smart, forward-looking and no-cost recommendation that could save the government billions, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association said.

WASHINGTON — A report released yesterday by the Bipartisan Policy Center, entitled “A Bipartisan Rx for Patient-Centered Care and System-Wide Cost Containment,” contains a smart, forward-looking and no-cost recommendation that could save the government billions, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association said today.

April 19, 2013

President Barack Obama sent his $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress on April 10, and the plan includes a number of provisions designed to cut spending on health care and promote health and wellness.

Overall, the budget is something of a mixed bag for the healthcare industry. While it would provide incentives for expanding the use of generic drugs, for example, it would also cut spending on Medicaid that have drawn opposition from pharmacy retailers, and even generic drug makers disagree with some of its provisions for that industry.

President Barack Obama sent his $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress on April 10, and the plan includes a number of provisions designed to cut spending on health care and promote health and wellness.

Overall, the budget is something of a mixed bag for the healthcare industry. While it would provide incentives for expanding the use of generic drugs, for example, it would also cut spending on Medicaid that have drawn opposition from pharmacy retailers, and even generic drug makers disagree with some of its provisions for that industry.

April 16, 2013

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering health care costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering healthcare costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

April 16, 2013

Amid various strategies adopted to stop the proliferation of rogue online pharmacies, one group has proposed controlling what they can put at the end of their Web addresses.

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — Amid various strategies adopted to stop the proliferation of rogue online pharmacies, one group has proposed controlling what they can put at the end of their Web addresses.

April 15, 2013

Generic makers heralded the fiscal year 2014 budget proposed last week by the Obama administration for its embrace of generic drugs, but were critical of its provisions on patent settlements and rebates.

WASHINGTON — Generic makers heralded the fiscal year 2014 budget proposed last week by the Obama administration for its embrace of generic drugs, but were critical of its provisions on patent settlements and rebates.

April 11, 2013

The increased availability of generics combined with CVS Caremark's generic dispensing rate of 77.4% helped reduce spending on traditional medications by 3.6% for the company's commercial clients, according to its newly released annual insights report.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The increased availability of generics combined with CVS Caremark's generic dispensing rate of 77.4% helped reduce spending on traditional medications by 3.6% for the company's commercial clients, according to its newly released annual insights report, which reviews drug trend and highlights key issues in pharmacy care.

CVS Caremark's GDR is the result of two elements.  First, 2012 marked a high point in the flood of generic launches, with the estimated market value of brands that lost their patents in 2012 exceeding $35 billion. 

April 11, 2013

The government of Canada's Alberta province will pay pharmacists $1 for each prescription filled as part of a one-year transition program for which it will spend $24 million, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — The government of Canada's Alberta province will pay pharmacists C$1 for each prescription filled as part of a one-year transition program for which it will spend $24 million, according to published reports.

April 10, 2013

With the growing concern of the abuse of prescription stimulants like Adderall on college campuses, the Cardinal Health Foundation and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy introduced Generation Rx University, the fourth in a series of interactive toolkits designed to help reduce the abuse of prescription drugs.

DUBLIN, Ohio — With the growing concern of the abuse of prescription stimulants like Adderall on college campuses, the Cardinal Health Foundation and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy on Wednesday introduced Generation Rx University, the fourth in a series of interactive toolkits designed to help reduce the abuse of prescription drugs. 

April 9, 2013

The new world of targeted, specialized medicines — many of them bioengineered and many of them aimed at smaller and smaller segments of the population — isn’t just on its way. It’s here. And it’s going to radically change the practice of pharmacy.

Here’s an eye-opener: Specialty drugs will likely account for 50% of all drug costs by 2018, up from 28.7% of total prescription drug costs in 2012.

The new world of targeted, specialized medicines — many of them bioengineered and many of them aimed at smaller and smaller segments of the population — isn’t just on its way. It’s here. And it’s going to radically change the practice of pharmacy.

Here’s an eye-opener: Specialty drugs will likely account for 50% of all drug costs by 2018, up from 28.7% of total prescription drug costs in 2012.

April 3, 2013

The recent call letter released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services addresses issues that can have an adverse effect on the program's cost and quality of care, a trade group representing independent retail pharmacies said Wednesday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The recent call letter released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services addresses issues that can have an adverse effect on the program's cost and quality of care, a trade group representing independent retail pharmacies said Wednesday.

Commenting on the CMS' announcement, the National Community Pharmacists Association said it had prepared a detailed list for its members.

April 3, 2013

According to an independent research firm, a recent pilot program to address awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse in teens showed 75% of all respondents were more aware of the dangers of misusing and abusing prescription drugs after participating in the educational program.

ORLANDO, Fla. — According to an independent research firm, a recent pilot program to address awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse in teens showed 75% of all respondents were more aware of the dangers of misusing and abusing prescription drugs after participating in the educational program.

April 2, 2013

Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

WASHINGTON — Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

March 29, 2013

A representative and a senator, both Republicans, recently introduced legislation that would repeal restrictions on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that prohibit the use of HSA and FSA account dollars for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs without a prescription.

One of the sponsors of the Family Health Care Flexibility Act, Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, called the restrictions "government overreach and interference." But they're more than that: They're simply wasteful. The whole point of healthcare reform is to expand access to health care while reducing cost, and requiring an expensive and time-consuming doctor visit to get a prescription for an OTC drug fails at both goals.

A representative and a senator, both Republicans, recently introduced legislation that would repeal restrictions on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that prohibit the use of HSA and FSA account dollars for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs without a prescription.

March 28, 2013

The generic drug industry's main trade group in Washington has hired a prominent lobbyist to head its government affairs team.

WASHINGTON — The generic drug industry's main trade group in Washington has hired a prominent lobbyist to head its government affairs team.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association announced that it had hired Melissa Schulman as SVP government affairs, describing her as "one of the best known advocates" in Washington, noting her ranking as an influential lobbyist in publications such as Roll Call, The Hill and National Journal. Schulman previously worked as a Democratic lobbyist for the Bockorny Group.

March 28, 2013

Itonis Pharmaceuticals unveiled the company's initial marketing plans for an over-the-counter homeopathic product that helps relieve nausea.

AGUNA HILLS, Calif. — Itonis Pharmaceuticals on Thursday unveiled the company's initial marketing plans for an over-the-counter homeopathic product that helps relieve nausea.

March 25, 2013

The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that could determine the future of generic drugs in America.

NEW YORK — The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that could determine the future of generic drugs in America.

The case, Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, marks the latest attempt by federal authorities to put an end to what they say are deals between branded and generic drug companies that delay release of generic drugs to consumers.

March 19, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has picked Kathleen Uhl to serve as acting director of the Office of Generic Drugs, the agency said.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has picked Kathleen Uhl to serve as acting director of the Office of Generic Drugs, the agency said Tuesday.

In a memo sent out to staff of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the section of the agency that oversees the OGD, CDER director Janet Woodcock wrote that Uhl most recently served as senior adviser to director Greg Geba, who announced his resignation Thursday.

March 19, 2013

The question of whether a generic drug company can be held liable for harmful side effects from its medicines goes before the Supreme Court Tuesday in a case involving a New Hampshire woman who sustained several injuries after taking a generic pain drug.

WASHINGTON — The question of whether a generic drug company can be held liable for harmful side effects from its medicines goes before the Supreme Court Tuesday in a case involving a New Hampshire woman who sustained several injuries after taking a generic pain drug.

March 15, 2013

The OTC industry is well-positioned to seize opportunities across the self-care space, executives at the recent Consumer Healthcare Products Association Annual Executive Conference shared with attendees. Those opportunities will be driven by greater consumer engagement and the growing realization around how much healthcare value can be drawn from expanding OTC access.

That sets the stage for some pretty favorable growth across a $38.3 billion industry. According to an Edelman in Health survey, use of over-the-counter medicines is already prevalent among Americans — almost 85% of Americans reported regular use of an OTC remedy. Convenience, efficacy and value were three of the key factors behind that prevalence, as noted in a special report compiled by DSN.

The OTC industry is well-positioned to seize opportunities across the self-care space, executives at the recent Consumer Healthcare Products Association Annual Executive Conference shared with attendees. Those opportunities will be driven by greater consumer engagement and the growing realization around how much healthcare value can be drawn from expanding OTC access. 

March 14, 2013

A plan to significantly reduce generic drug prices in Alberta has drawn criticism from pharmacists in the Canadian province.

EDMONTON, Alberta — A plan to significantly reduce generic drug prices in Alberta has drawn criticism from pharmacists in the Canadian province.

The Alberta Pharmacists' Association said it was "shocked" in response to the provincial government's 2013 budget, which reduces generic drug prices from 35% to 18% of branded drug prices, effective May 1. Over the past two years, prices have been reduced from 75% to 35%, but the RxA said it supported the government in those cases.