Content about pharmaceuticals

August 8, 2013

The urgency behind Diplomat's launch of its Retail Specialty Network isn't hard to fathom. As the growth momentum in pharmaceuticals shifts from traditionally developed drugs to more complex and expensive specialty and biotech products, traditional pharmacies without access to these specialized medicines — and the patients who depend on them — find themselves stranded in a receding market like boats at low tide.

The urgency behind Diplomat's launch of its Retail Specialty Network isn't hard to fathom. As the growth momentum in pharmaceuticals shifts from traditionally developed drugs to more complex and expensive specialty and biotech products, traditional pharmacies without access to these specialized medicines — and the patients who depend on them — find themselves stranded in a receding market like boats at low tide.

July 30, 2013

Big data finds another application and another supporter. Sort of.

The full Senate will shortly take up a new track-and-trace bill (S. 959), which would establish a national system for tracking the pedigree and movement of most pharmaceuticals, from point of manufacture and distribution to the dispensing pharmacy and the patient at the end of the supply chain. The goal: to replace the hodge-podge of different state laws with a single, nationwide track-and-trace system capable of capturing the daily flood of drug production, distribution, dispensing and utilization data and channeling it into an accessible tool by which stakeholders and regulators could secure the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Big data finds another application and another supporter. Sort of.

July 12, 2013

The creation of a clear approval pathway for biosimilar drugs remains a daunting task for the Food and Drug Administration, despite the fact that it's prescribed by law through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But when those lower-priced, generic versions of some staggeringly expensive bioengineered medicines do finally come to market, they're likely to have a profound effect on the nation's outlays for specialty pharmaceuticals.

The creation of a clear approval pathway for biosimilar drugs remains a daunting task for the Food and Drug Administration, despite the fact that it's prescribed by law through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But when those lower-priced, generic versions of some staggeringly expensive bioengineered medicines do finally come to market, they're likely to have a profound effect on the nation's outlays for specialty pharmaceuticals.

July 2, 2013

Covidien has finished spinning off its pharmaceuticals division, the medical products maker said.

DUBLIN — Covidien has finished spinning off its pharmaceuticals division, the medical products maker said.

St. Louis-based Covidien announced that it had separated Mallinckrodt as an independent company that has started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MNK," a move that it announced in December 2011. Shares in the newly public company were trading at $43.52 at noon Tuesday, down by 48 cents from the start of the day.

June 20, 2013

Tris Pharma has hired a former buyer from AmerisourceBergen to head its generic drug business, the company said.

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. — Tris Pharma has hired a former buyer from AmerisourceBergen to head its generic drug business, the company said.

Tris announced the appointment of Janet Penner as president of the new generic pharmaceuticals business, which will have its own sales, marketing and distribution and will be responsible for bringing drugs to market. So far, the Food and Drug Administration has approved 13 of Tris' generics, including several first-to-market products.

April 26, 2013

Cardinal Health announced the renewal of its pharmaceutical distribution agreement with CVS Caremark to supply pharmaceuticals to the company’s retail pharmacies and distribution centers, as McKesson, which generally serves the PBM side of the business, also announced the renewal of its current distribution agreement with the pharmacy retailer.

The renewal of the agreements was not only critical for both companies but, as Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting and CEO of Drug Channels Institute, wrote in his blog “CVS Caremark Renews with Cardinal and McKesson,” it also “demonstrates wholesalers' value in the brand-name pharmacy supply chain.”

Cardinal Health announced the renewal of its pharmaceutical distribution agreement with CVS Caremark to supply pharmaceuticals to the company’s retail pharmacies and distribution centers, as McKesson, which generally serves the PBM side of the business, also announced the renewal of its current distribution agreement with the pharmacy retailer.

April 25, 2013

Cardinal Health and McKesson separately announced the renewal of their pharmaceutical distribution agreements with CVS Caremark.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health and McKesson separately announced the renewal of their pharmaceutical distribution agreements with CVS Caremark.

Under Cardinal Health’s renewed agreement, the wholesaler stated that it will supply pharmaceuticals to a network of CVS Caremark's retail pharmacies and distribution centers through mid-2016. The stores and distribution centers serviced under the new arrangement are essentially the same as those serviced in the prior arrangement.

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.

March 22, 2013

Walgreens and Alliance Boots entered into a 10-year contract with wholesaler AmerisourceBergen on sourcing pharmaceuticals last week. But that's not all. Besides the long-term contract, Walgreens and Alliance Boots will have the option on a potential 23% equity stake in ABC in three years.

The deal takes pharmaceutical buying leverage to the stratosphere and changes the face of more than one health service industry. As Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting, noted in a live television interview on Fox Business' "Money With Melissa Francis": "Three of the largest companies in the pharmaceutical industry have come together and built the single largest buyer of prescription drugs in the world," he said.

Walgreens and Alliance Boots entered into a 10-year contract with wholesaler AmerisourceBergen on sourcing pharmaceuticals last week. But that's not all. Besides the long-term contract, Walgreens and Alliance Boots will have the option on a potential 23% equity stake in ABC in three years. 

March 19, 2013

Walgreens will no longer source branded prescription medicines directly from suppliers beginning in September, the Chicago-based retailer announced as part of a significant partnership between Walgreens, Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen that includes Walgreens and Alliance Boots potentially taking a 7% stake in the Pennsylvania wholesaler.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens will no longer source branded prescription medicines directly from suppliers beginning in September, the Chicago-based retailer announced Tuesday as part of a significant partnership between Walgreens, Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen that includes Walgreens and Alliance Boots potentially taking a 7% stake in the Pennsylvania wholesaler. Walgreens will begin sourcing generic medicines from AmerisourceBergen beginning in the calendar year 2014.  

February 25, 2013

The generic drug tidal wave became a tsunami in 2012, with some of the world's top-selling pharmaceuticals swamped by generic competition, and health plan payers scrambling to reap billions of dollars in financial savings.

The generic drug tidal wave became a tsunami in 2012, with some of the world's top-selling pharmaceuticals swamped by generic competition, and health plan payers scrambling to reap billions of dollars in financial savings.

February 13, 2013

Some people liked President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, and some people didn't, and the response from the drug industry was no less mixed.

WASHINGTON — Some people liked President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, and some people didn't, and the response from the drug industry was no less mixed.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association called for measures to lower healthcare costs, including ensuring that generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars reach patients' hands quickly and also avoiding measures intended to provide savings that the GPhA said would raise prescription drug costs, though the grow didn't specify what those measures were.

February 8, 2013

A new report by Francesco International identified $35.7 billion worth of potential Rx-to-OTC switches in a wide range of indications, from hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder to high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction, and the Food and Drug Administration has been looking at ways technology and pharmacists could be employed to ensure that patients taking drugs new to the consumer health space take them appropriately.

With growth in traditional pharmaceuticals expected to slow down significantly, a growing number of drug makers — branded and generic alike — see specialty drugs as their main sources of revenue for the foreseeable future. At the same time, those drug makers not invested in specialty may be looking for growth opportunities in consumer health.

A new report by Francesco International identified $35.7 billion worth of potential Rx-to-OTC switches in a wide range of indications, from hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder to high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction, and the Food and Drug Administration has been looking at ways technology and pharmacists could be employed to ensure that patients taking drugs new to the consumer health space take them appropriately

January 22, 2013

H. D. Smith announced the establishment of H. D. Smith Specialty Solutions, an organization structured to provide focus and alignment around specialty and traditional brand products, solutions and services.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — H. D. Smith on Tuesday announced the establishment of H. D. Smith Specialty Solutions, an organization structured to provide focus and alignment around specialty and traditional brand products, solutions and services. The wholesaler also announced the realignment of select executive leadership positions to best capitalize on the growing needs resulting from recent geographic and service expansions. These expansions include the acquisition of Valley Wholesale Drug in October 2012 and a planned majority ownership investment in Triplefin announced in January 2013.

December 28, 2012

Solidifying Perrigo’s leadership position in topical foam-based generic prescription pharmaceuticals, the company announced it has signed a definitive merger agreement and completed the acquisition of Cobrek Pharmaceuticals.

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Solidifying Perrigo’s leadership position in topical foam-based generic prescription pharmaceuticals, the company announced it has signed a definitive merger agreement and completed the acquisition of Cobrek Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held, Chicago-based drug development company, for approximately $45 million.

November 29, 2012

It’s a marriage of industry icons. In June, Walgreens finally made a long-awaited leap across the Atlantic to acquire British-based Alliance Boots, one of the world’s premier retailers of pharmaceuticals, health and beauty aids, and beauty care products. 


It’s a marriage of industry icons. In June, Walgreens finally made a long-awaited leap across the Atlantic to acquire British-based Alliance Boots, one of the world’s premier retailers of pharmaceuticals, health and beauty aids, and beauty care products. 


November 29, 2012

In 2011 and 2012, the steady surge of blockbuster pharmaceuticals falling off the patent cliff became a stampede. An astonishing number of big-selling drugs that had established and sustained branded drug makers’ profits for years fell victim to the expiration of their patent lives and market exclusivity, roiling the pharmaceutical marketplace and redefining the pricing model for many of the most widely prescribed classes of medicines.


In 2011 and 2012, the steady surge of blockbuster pharmaceuticals falling off the patent cliff became a stampede. An astonishing number of big-selling drugs that had established and sustained branded drug makers’ profits for years fell victim to the expiration of their patent lives and market exclusivity, roiling the pharmaceutical marketplace and redefining the pricing model for many of the most widely prescribed classes of medicines.


November 16, 2012

Kroger announced Thursday it will acquire the outstanding shares of Axium Pharmacy Holdings, a leading specialty pharmacy, and merge the two companies. By now, it should be clear that specialty is becoming an increasingly important part of the retail pharmacy mix, having grown more than sixfold in revenues between 2000 and 2011, with everyone from Rite Aid to Costco to Hy-Vee biting off a piece for themselves.

As Specialty Pharmacy magazine reported in its fall 2012 issue, specialty drug development is starting to play a much bigger role in drug development overall than traditional pharmaceuticals. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, seven of the top 20 drug therapy classes will be in specialty by 2016, including cancer, autoimmune disorders and antivirals, and specialty and bioengineered drugs remain one of the few growth centers in the drug industry in 2012. And according to Express Scripts, the market for specialty and bioengineered drugs is expected to grow from 2011's 17.1% to 22% by 2014.

Kroger announced Thursday it will acquire the outstanding shares of Axium Pharmacy Holdings, a leading specialty pharmacy, and merge the two companies. By now, it should be clear that specialty is becoming an increasingly important part of the retail pharmacy mix, having grown more than sixfold in revenues between 2000 and 2011, with everyone from Rite Aid to Costco to Hy-Vee biting off a piece for themselves.

November 6, 2012

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has made a few new executive appointments, the drug maker said Tuesday.

JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has made some new executive appointments, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Teva promoted Allan Oberman, currently SVP North America generic pharmaceuticals, to president and CEO of Teva Americas Generics. In the new role, Oberman will report directly to Teva president and CEO Jeremy Levin and have continued responsibility for generics in the North American market and overall management of the company's Latin American businesses.

October 5, 2012

In partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced it had taken action against more than 4,100 Internet pharmacies that illegally sell unapproved drugs to consumers.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — In partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced it had taken action against more than 4,100 Internet pharmacies that illegally sell unapproved drugs to consumers. Actions taken include civil and criminal charges, seizure of illegal products and removal of offending websites.

October 4, 2012

“Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” Sounds simple enough. But that obvious truism, voiced by former U.S. surgeon general C. Everett Koop, fails to convince tens of millions of patients that they should take their prescription medicines through the full dosage regimen.

“Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.”

Sounds simple enough. But that obvious truism, voiced by former U.S. surgeon general C. Everett Koop, fails to convince tens of millions of patients that they should take their prescription medicines through the full dosage regimen. And in too many cases, patients aren’t even filling the script to begin with.

September 21, 2012

The pharmaceuticals business will begin picking up in 2014, AmerisourceBergen president and CEO Steve Collis said at the wholesaler's ThinkLive Manufacturer's Summit.

PHILADELPHIA — The pharmaceuticals business will begin picking up in 2014, AmerisourceBergen president and CEO Steve Collis said last week at the wholesaler's ThinkLive Manufacturer's Summit held here. "Next year is a slower brand-to-generic [trend] and in 2014 we’re going to see a resumption in that top-line growth rate [across the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S.] to a modest 4% growth," Collis said. "That’s not too bad," he added, especially when you compare that growth up against what's happening worldwide.

September 18, 2012

For branded drug makers, the pharmaceutical patent cliff has never loomed higher or steeper. The exposure of so many of the world’s biggest-selling medicines to generic competition for the first time is redefining the pricing model for many of the most widely prescribed classes of pharmaceuticals.

For branded drug makers, the pharmaceutical patent cliff has never loomed higher or steeper. The exposure of so many of the world’s biggest-selling medicines to generic competition for the first time is redefining the pricing model for many of the most widely prescribed classes of pharmaceuticals — reducing costs for health plans, payers and patients; scrambling drug makers’ balance sheets; and potentially boosting both drug utilization and adherence rates as reduced out-of-pocket costs induce more patients to fill their prescriptions.


September 11, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association and a number of independent pharmacy entities on Monday refiled its complaint against Express Scripts concerning its acquisition of Medco, demanding either Express Scripts be compelled to "unwind their merger" or alternatively be required to divest assets acquired from Medco.

 PITTSBURGH — The National Community Pharmacists Association and a number of independent pharmacy entities on Monday refiled its complaint against Express Scripts concerning its acquisition of Medco, demanding either Express Scripts be compelled to "unwind their merger" or alternatively be required to divest assets acquired from Medco. The independent pharmacy plaintiffs are also suing for the cost of the suit as well as "such other relief as the Court may deem just and proper."

July 31, 2012

AmerisourceBergen on Tuesday announced that it has signed a three-year agreement to supply approximately $18.5 billion in pharmaceuticals to Express Scripts on an annual basis.

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Tuesday announced that it has signed a three-year agreement to supply approximately $18.5 billion in pharmaceuticals to Express Scripts on an annual basis. The agreement is effective Oct. 1.

“We are honored that Express Scripts has chosen AmerisourceBergen to supply the brand pharmaceuticals it needs for its recently combined mail-order and specialty pharmacy business,” said Steven Collis, AmerisourceBergen president and CEO.