Content about Specialty Pharmacy

March 30, 2011

BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy has promoted its supervisor of Rx coordinators.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy has promoted its supervisor of Rx coordinators.

Amanda Brown, who joined the company in 2003, now will serve as director of Rx coordinators. In this role, she will manage and train BioPlus' sales team, but also will be involved in building business relationships with prescribers, achieving territorial goals and maximizing potential revenue for BioPlus.

March 30, 2011

A specialty infusion pharmacy has joined the social media realm.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A specialty infusion pharmacy has joined the social media realm.

MedPro Rx's president, Nancy McFarlane, said that the company has launched a Facebook page, which will share MedPro Rx’s news, updates, blog posts and photos with its community. Additionally, the page will expand the company's online presence and customer service focus for clients, healthcare consumers, providers and third-party payers, McFarlane said.

March 30, 2011

Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals has proposed to buy Cephalon for $5.7 billion, Valeant said Tuesday.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals has proposed to buy Cephalon for $5.7 billion, Valeant said Tuesday.

The buyout offer, equal to $73 per share, includes a 29% premium over Cephalon’s stock price. Valeant noted it had made previous offers, but was “disappointed by Cephalon’s unwillingness to engage in discussions in a timely manner.”

March 29, 2011

For many patients, the inability to pay for drugs is enough of a problem, but what if the drugs they need aren’t available at all?

NEW YORK — For many patients, the inability to pay for drugs is enough of a problem, but what if the drugs they need aren’t available at all?

According to a new report by the Premier Healthcare Alliance, more than 240 drugs were hard to find or entirely unavailable, while more than 400 generic versions of branded drugs were backordered for more than five days. Premier said shortages had more than tripled since 2005, with the frequency and effects rising to critical levels and affecting all segments of health care.

March 25, 2011

"Dispense-as-written" prescriptions are exacerbating medication nonadherence and costing the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and CVS Caremark.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — "Dispense-as-written" prescriptions are exacerbating medication nonadherence and costing the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and CVS Caremark.

March 25, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for late-stage skin cancer, the agency said Friday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for late-stage skin cancer, the agency said Friday.

The FDA approved Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Yervoy (ipilimumab) for patients with melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body, also known as metastasis. More than 68,000 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the United States in 2010, and about 8,700 died from it, according to the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

March 25, 2011

A group representing specialty pharmacies is calling on the Department of Defense to not use exclusive networks in the Tricare pharmacy program.

NEW YORK — A group representing specialty pharmacies is calling on the Department of Defense to not use exclusive networks in the Tricare pharmacy program.

The Independent Specialty Pharmacy Coalition said exclusive arrangements for the program, also known as TPharm, were anti-competitive and harmful to patients who rely on specialty care by reducing patient choice and disrupting the continuum of care for them, and that reductions in pharmaceutical costs would not necessarily reduce overall healthcare spending.

March 24, 2011

Bristol-Myers Squibb said its late-stage clinical trial for a cancer treatment, which currently is under review by the Food and Drug Administration, achieved its primary endpoint.

PRINCETON, N.J. — Bristol-Myers Squibb said its late-stage clinical trial for a cancer treatment, which currently is under review by the Food and Drug Administration, achieved its primary endpoint.

The company said its phase-3 trial for investigational compound ipilimumab, designed for previously untreated patients that were diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, improved overall survival. The study compared the combination of ipilimumab 10 mg/kg and chemotherapy (dacarbazine) with chemotherapy alone.

March 24, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has extended its regulatory review period for Novartis' new drug application for its once-daily, long-term maintenance bronchodilator treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, the drug maker said.

BASEL, Switzerland — The Food and Drug Administration has extended its regulatory review period for Novartis' new drug application for its once-daily, long-term maintenance bronchodilator treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, the drug maker said.

March 24, 2011

GlaxoSmithKline withdrew all regulatory approval applications for a drug designed to cut men's risk of developing prostate cancer.

LONDON — GlaxoSmithKline withdrew all regulatory approval applications for a drug designed to cut men's risk of developing prostate cancer.

The drug maker announced it no longer would pursue global approval for Avodart (dutasteride) and would work with regulatory agencies to remove the indication from the product’s license.

March 22, 2011

Cephalon plans to acquire a privately owned company developing treatments for cancer, Cephalon said Monday.

FRAZER, Pa. — Cephalon plans to acquire a privately owned company developing treatments for cancer, Cephalon said Monday.

The Frazer, Pa.-based drug maker said it would pay $225 million upfront for Malvern, Pa.-based Gemin X, and Gemin X stockholders would be eligible to receive up to $300 million in milestone payments related to products under development.

Gemin X specializes in cancer treatments that target and kill cancer cells. Its lead product is GX15-070 (obatoclax), currently in phase-2b clinical development as a treatment for small cell lung cancer.

March 22, 2011

J. Michael Pearson has been appointed to chairman of the board at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said Tuesday.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — J. Michael Pearson has been appointed to chairman of the board at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Pearson, who is Valeant's CEO, will extend his contract with Valeant through February 2017, the company said.

Pearson replaces current chairman Robert Ingram, who remains on the board as an independent board director and lead director.

March 21, 2011

Patients with bleeding disorders could be eligible for a scholarship from a specialty pharmacy provider that specializes in treating them.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Patients with bleeding disorders could be eligible for a scholarship from a specialty pharmacy provider that specializes in treating them.

MedPro Rx announced Sunday that patients with such disorders as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease attending college and active in their communities could be eligible for its Education Is Power scholarship program.

March 15, 2011

A drug under investigation as a treatment for a rare genetic disorder that causes abnormally high triglyceride levels in the blood has received orphan-drug designation from the Food and Drug Administration.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A drug under investigation as a treatment for a rare genetic disorder that causes abnormally high triglyceride levels in the blood has received orphan-drug designation from the Food and Drug Administration.

March 15, 2011

Drug maker Fleming Pharmaceuticals is increasing production of a drug for preventing thyroid cancer in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.

ST. LOUIS — Drug maker Fleming Pharmaceuticals is increasing production of a drug for preventing thyroid cancer in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.

The drug, ThyroShield (potassium iodide), is designed for use in nuclear emergencies and works by saturating the thyroid gland so that it can’t absorb radioactive iodine.

March 15, 2011

A drug used to prevent stroke in patients with a form of atrial fibrillation has won preferred Tier 2 formulary status with pharmacy benefit managers Medco Health Solutions and CVS Caremark.

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — A drug used to prevent stroke in patients with a form of atrial fibrillation has won preferred Tier 2 formulary status with pharmacy benefit managers Medco Health Solutions and CVS Caremark.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that CVS Caremark and Medco had added Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) capsules to their commercial preferred drug lists, and Medco had added the drug to its Part D drug list.

March 15, 2011

Specialty pharmacy provider The Apothecary Shops has opened its 18th store, the company said Monday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Specialty pharmacy provider The Apothecary Shops has opened its 18th store, the company said Monday.

TAS Specialty Pharmacy, an affiliate of Phoenix-based The Apothecary Shops of Deer Valley, opened a full-service specialty pharmacy with a compounding lab in Austin, Texas. The 2,500-sq.-ft. pharmacy will specialize in cancer, transplants, infectious diseases, fertility, women’s health, pain management, eye diseases and animal health.

March 15, 2011

Two organizations focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder have joined Drive4COPD, an organization founded by drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim that seeks to raise awareness of the disease.

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Two organizations focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder have joined Drive4COPD, an organization founded by drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim that seeks to raise awareness of the disease.

Drive4COPD announced that the U.S. COPD Coalition and the COPD Alliance had joined the campaign, which now includes 40 associations and companies. The U.S. COPD Coalition adds another 38 organizations.

March 14, 2011

"Fake drugs are a big threat and an exploding threat," Kumar Kibble, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the news program "60 Minutes" in a segment that appeared Sunday night.

NEW YORK — "Fake drugs are a big threat and an exploding threat," Kumar Kibble, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the news program "60 Minutes" in a segment that appeared Sunday night.

March 14, 2011

By 2015, “pharmacists will be the healthcare professionals responsible for providing patient care that ensures optimal medication therapy outcomes.” That was the consensus reached in the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners' vision statement at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s Consumer Awareness, Resources, Education, State Policy and Testing Summit last month.

WASHINGTON — By 2015, “pharmacists will be the healthcare professionals responsible for providing patient care that ensures optimal medication therapy outcomes.” That was the consensus reached in the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners' vision statement at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s Consumer Awareness, Resources, Education, State Policy and Testing Summit last month.

March 11, 2011

Specialty pharmacy provider BioScrip had sales of $450.4 million in fourth quarter 2010 and $1.6 billion for the year as a whole, according to financial results released Friday.

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — Specialty pharmacy provider BioScrip had sales of $450.4 million in fourth quarter 2010 and $1.6 billion for the year as a whole, according to financial results released Friday.

Sales for the quarter were $108.8 million higher than in fourth quarter 2009, while sales for the fiscal year were $300 million higher than in fiscal year 2009. However, the company still had net losses of $67.1 million for the quarter and $69.1 million for the year.

March 11, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved biotech company Dendreon’s expansion of manufacturing capacity for an immunotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, Dendreon said Thursday.

SEATTLE — The Food and Drug Administration has approved biotech company Dendreon’s expansion of manufacturing capacity for an immunotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, Dendreon said Thursday.

The company said it would be able to increase the ability of Provenge (sipuleucel-T) manufactured at its plant in New Jersey by increasing the number of workstations to produce it from 12 to 48.

The treatment is designed to induce an immune response against prostatic acid phosphatase, an antigen present in most prostate cancers.

March 10, 2011

Hospira has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a generic cancer treatment.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Hospira has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a generic cancer treatment.

Hospira will offer 20-mg, 80-mg and 160-mg vials of docetaxel at a 10-mg/mL concentration. Docetaxel is a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis's Taxotere.

Hospira already markets docetaxel in Europe and Australia, the drug maker noted.

March 10, 2011

Eli Lilly on Thursday announced that it has named Greg Plowman VP oncology research and SVP for ImClone Systems research.

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly on Thursday announced that it has named Greg Plowman VP oncology research and SVP for ImClone Systems research.

Plowman will oversee the oncology research efforts of both Lilly and ImClone, the drug maker's subsidiary that it acquired in 2008. He will report to Jan Lundberg, EVP science and technology and Lilly Research Labs president, as well as Bernhard Ehmer, ImClone president.

Prior to accepting the position at Lilly, Plowman served as senior director of research for Genentech for six years. He officially will join the company March 28.

March 10, 2011

A subsidiary of Mylan has won approval to sell a generic drug for HIV and AIDS in developing countries under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

PITTSBURGH — A subsidiary of Mylan has won approval to sell a generic drug for HIV and AIDS in developing countries under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Mylan announced Thursday that Matrix Labs won Food and Drug Administration approval for zidovudine tablets in the 100-mg strength. The drug is a generic version of ViiV Healthcare’s Retrovir, an antiretroviral sold as a water-dispersible tablet. The drug is designed to treat HIV and AIDS in children and prevent transmission of the virus from pregnant mothers to their children.