Category Archives: drug wholesaling and distribution

Breaking News: CVS Caremark and Cardinal Health Form Generic Drug Sourcing Entity

CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) and Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) today announced the signing of an agreement to form the largest generic sourcing entity in the U.S., which is the world’s largest generic drug market. Both companies are contributing their sourcing and supply chain expertise to this 50/50 joint venture and are committing to source generic drugs through it. The companies separately announced a three-year extension through June 2019 of Cardinal Health’s existing pharmaceutical distribution agreements with CVS Caremark. The U.S.-based joint venture is expected to be operational as soon as July 1, 2014, and will have an initial term of 10 years. Under this arrangement, [...]

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An IDN’s New Best Friend: Product Lifecycle Logistics Solution Providers

Over the weekend, Genco, a thought leader in the development and provision of “lifecycle logistics” solutions announced a partnership with Tecsys, a well established supply chain management software company that specializes in the delivery of distribution, warehouse and transportation solutions. Both companies have plenty of experience in healthcare servicing both suppliers and providers alike, but this partnership reflects a special desire to develop and provide comprehensive logistics solutions for IDNs, specifically, IDN’s that utilize Consolidated Service Centers (CSCs). The idea is to bring major manufacturers, Tier 1 chains and major IDNs much closer together and more integrated in their approach [...]

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Biosimilars: Implications For Health System Pharmacists

Health systems professionals should prepare now for the introduction of biosimilars, a new category of pharmaceuticals intended to offer lower cost alternatives for some of the most expensive medications purchased by health care organizations.  This insight comes from newly published research co-authored by Novation, one of the nation’s largest GPOs. The primer, “Biosimilars: Implications for health-system pharmacists,” appears in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP).  The peer-reviewed article provides an update on the scientific, regulatory, and clinical practice considerations that are continuing to shape the developing market of biosimilars in the United States. Unlike generic small molecules, biosimilars represent a [...]

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FDA Taking Back Seat to European Medicines Agency (EMA)?

The FDA continues to make news. Just yesterday, the US Congress passed a bill that increased the FDA’s regulatory powers over the US compounding pharmacy industry (in response to the NECC meningitis disaster of a year ago). While the new bill, entitled the “Drug Quality and Security Act,” is generally viewed as a step in the right direction, the phrase “tastes great less filling” seems to describe the way most industry stakeholders perceive it. It seems the FDA either doesn’t do enough or goes way overboard. Indeed today, one of GlobalData’s senior healthcare analysts made news amplifying what has become [...]

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NECC Disaster Spawns the Drug Quality and Security Act

Late yesterday, Congress passed the Drug Quality and Security Act. The bi-partisan bill was passed unanimously, as Congressional lawmakers did not want to be seen on the wrong side of the circumstances that led to the deadly meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people about a year ago (a.k.a. -the “New England Compounding Center (NECC) disaster”). The bill is designed to reel-in the largest compounders –the mass producers– not the companies that mix medicines for individual patients based on a prescription order or may produce limited quantities, again based on a prescription. However, the bill actually falls short of forcing these [...]

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JNJ Settles Risperdal False Claims Act Violations –Whistleblowers Get Record Pay Day

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and its subsidiaries, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Scios Inc., will pay $2.2 billion –another healthcare record– to settle charges involving False Claims Act violations and  kick-backs paid to doctors to promote and prescribe the drug Risperdal. Risperdal was approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia, but it was also aggressively and apparently, illegally marketed to doctors and nursing homes as a treatment for elderly patients with dementia and other serious mental illnesses. According to AG Eric Holder, “although consultant pharmacists (paid by JNJ) purported to provide ‘independent’ recommendations based on their clinical judgment, J&J viewed the pharmacists as [...]

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Drug Discovery and Repurposing: NuMedii and Thomson Reuters Announce Big Data Partnership

The IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters today announced a strategic initiative with NuMedii, a biotech company dedicated to changing the game in drug discovery. The partnership, which pairs NuMedii’s technology with the drug and disease information and systems biology expertise of Thomson Reuters, will create a repository of content and methodologies to identify new applications for existing drug compounds. NuMedii will use Thomson Reuters MetaCore and Integrity content, as well as Thomson Reuters Life Sciences Professional Services expertise to find FDA-approved drugs or discontinued development compounds that are appropriate for repurposing. “NuMedii is blending various innovative technologies and life science data to create a next [...]

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Drug Shortages –A Manufactured Problem or a Manufacturing Problem?

Not too long ago, I did a post about Physicians Against Drug Shortages (PADS), a relatively new group organized to blame GPOs for drug shortages. I put it that way because these docs just don’t like GPOs. In fact, they are calling for the federal government to repeal the industry’s anti-kickback safe harbor provision. “We are convinced that the anticompetitive contracting and pricing practices, kickbacks and self-dealing of hospital GPOs are the root cause of this public health emergency,” said anesthesiologist Robert A. Campbell, MD, co-chair of PADS. “We’re launching a national campaign to build public awareness of these anticompetitive [...]

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Securing the US Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: Pharmacy Association Wants to Close Regulatory Loopholes

In a white paper released yesterday, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) stressed that closing several remaining and vulnerable regulatory gaps is paramount in preventing counterfeit or diverted drugs from infiltrating the US prescription drug supply chain. In “Wholesale Drug Distribution: Protecting the Integrity of the Nation’s Prescription Drug Supply,” NABP points to the roles of unscrupulous wholesalers in distributing counterfeit drugs and unapproved foreign-sourced drugs that have endangered US patients. To help safeguard the distribution chain, NABP has implemented updated criteria for the Association’s Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors (VAWD) accreditation program, including revised criteria allowing virtual wholesale distributors to qualify for VAWD. Further, the [...]

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Definition of “Purpose-Built Company” Evolving –Water Street Healthcare Partners Provides Smart Money Example

Investment bankers seem to be getting smarter, especially those focused on the seed capital needs of early stage companies. No longer content to hit .05 (one in twenty), you’re starting to hear the phrase “purpose-built” bandied about. What is a purpose-built company? The traditional definition talks about the decided advantage and enduring success that companies who remain true to their core values and purpose tend to have over those that don’t. Naturally, these companies learn how to adapt their strategies and tactics to a changing world, but they don’t abandon their core purpose and the values that got them there [...]

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Blame Gamers Now Targeting GPOs for Injectible Drug Shortages

Physicians Against Drug Shortages (PADS) is a relatively new group that has organized to blame GPOs for drug shortages. I’m putting it that way because being against drug shortages –by no means a controversial stance– seems secondary to this group’s raison d’etre. Apparently, these docs just don’t like GPOs. In fact, they are calling for the federal government to repeal the industry’s anti-kickback safe harbor provision. There is nothing new about the rhetoric. “We are convinced that the anticompetitive contracting and pricing practices, kickbacks and self-dealing of hospital GPOs are the root cause of this public health emergency,” said anesthesiologist [...]

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US Pharma Spending Declines for First Time in 60 years

Despite the fact that overall healthcare spending (direct and indirect costs, revenues), are at all time highs, U.S. spending on pharmaceuticals is reaching an all time low –if you are willing to count the last 60 years an adequate measuring stick. It’s simple: the market’s acceptance of widely used, inexpensive, generic substitutes has succeeded in driving the decline. And the generic manufacturing industries’ adept maneuvering –when a big drug hits its patent cliff— is darn near optimized.  Not only do employers and insurers “get it,” but according to lots of related survey data, consumers understand the drill too. “The largest [...]

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Big Pharma Preparing for a Pipeline Shopping Spree, Says GlobalData

Despite a recent fall in deal volume and overall value,  some of the pharmaceutical industry’s major players are about to splash out in an effort to restock depleted drug pipelines, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData. In a new report, Adam Dion, analyst with GlobalData, states that industry leaders such as Pfizer, Merck, GSK and AstraZeneca are paying the price for failing to adequately prepare for the effects of the patent cliff. This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry [...]

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Adverse Effects of Hormonal Contraceptives Now On the Docket

I received a note over the weekend from Eric Burns, the immediate past president of Media Matters for America. Along with Karl Frisch, a former communications director, they launched a new company called Bullfight Strategies –and their business is good. The company was founded with a goal to empower clients “to win in the media arena.” It does so by focusing on the right kinds of rapid response narrative, fully conditioned to take advantage of what has become known as “the 15 minute news cycle.” Eric wanted to make sure that Healthcare Matters’ readers were aware of the latest developments [...]

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UPS Laser-Focused on Healthcare Supply Chain –Investors Already Seeing the Pay Off

In case you haven’t heard, UPS is making it crystal clear that it intends to dominate in the healthcare marketplace. It’s a $50 billion global market and when you consider the down turn in traditional business demand for overnight shipping services, both UPS and FedEx have set their sights on a marketplace –the medical cargo marketplace—that is projected to grow at a rate of 20% annually. “Both companies have more than doubled their dedicated health-care storage and handling space in the past five years to take advantage of a business with potential operating margins of 15 percent or higher, dwarfing [...]

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ViiV Healthcare, Medicines Patent Pool — Big Pharma Can’t Buy Better Public Relations

GlaxoSmithKline’s HIV/AIDS drugs business is demonstrating some nice character. Their words and actions support a design to share intellectual property rights on children’s medicine in a patent pool designed to make treatments more widely available in poor countries. ViiV Healthcare, majority-owned by GSK, is the second research-based pharmaceutical business to sign up to the new Medicines Patent Pool, following a lead set in 2011 by Gilead Sciences. The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), launched in 2010 by the UNITAID health financing system that is funded by a levy on airline tickets, aims to address the remaining gap by getting patent holders [...]

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