Hot off the press for October 3, 2005

October 3, 2005

MedManage Systems launches third generation online sampling service Y-ME partners with Walgreens in 'Pass It On' promotion New Jersey to expand discount drug program Dynavax introduces Tolamba and Heplisav Walgreens Home Care announces contract with PHCS Web site offers Medicare Rx information Web tool estimates Medicare Rx costs APP recalls fluorouracil 10-ml vials R.Ph. arrested in Net Rx drug bust DrugMax expands Worksite Pharmacy business VA drug program cheaper than Medicare? MinuteClinic opens at seven CVS stores in Indianapolis

October 3, 2005

MedManage Systems launches third-eneration on-line sampling service
MedManage Systems, a provider of on-line prescription drug-sampling solutions, has launched its third-generation on-line sampling service that incorporates the XpressSign electronic ordering capability. This new order process is designed to provide users of MedManage's Web-based, on-demand sampling service with a secure automated and more convenient method to request medication samples. Back to top

Y-ME partners with Walgreens in 'Pass It On' promotion
Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization is partnering with Walgreens to pass on a message of hope and support to anyone touched by or concerned about breast cancer. Twenty-five percent of the purchase price of select Walgreens' merchandise—for example, bracelets, socks, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats—will benefit Y-ME. Y-ME offers a hotline staffed by trained peer counselors who are breast cancer survivors. Back to top

New Jersey to expand discount drug program
New Jersey is expanding its discount prescription drug program for low-income and uninsured patients to all community health centers by mid-2006. The New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services and federal pharmacy consultants will help 62 centers apply to the federally funded discount programs during the current fiscal year. Community health centers are located in 15 counties, including Bergen, Morris, and Passaic. The drug discounts are especially aimed at patients with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, HIV, and heart disease. Back to top

Dynavax introduces Tolamba and Heplisav
Dynavax Technologies announced the selection of Tolamba and Heplisav as brand names for its ragweed allergy immunotherapy and hepatitis B prophylaxis products, respectively. Both drugs are in phase III trials. Back to top

Walgreens Home Care announces contract with PHCS
Walgreens Home Care announced that it would serve as a national provider in the Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) preferred provider organization (PPO) network. Walgreens Home Care will provide respiratory services including oxygen therapy, infusion services with coordinated nursing visits, and home medical equipment to all members accessing the PHCS Network. PHCS, headquartered in Waltham, Mass., claims it is the second largest care management company in the country as well as the largest national proprietary PPO. Back to top

Web site offers Medicare Rx information
Medicare Access for Patients Rx, a coalition of patient, caregiver, and healthcare professional organizations, launched a Web resource to help seniors find information about the Medicare Part D drug benefit. Posted at www.medicare.gov/medicarereform/drugbenefit.asp. Back to top

APP recalls fluorouracil 10-ml vials
On Sept. 19, American Pharmaceutical Partners recalled 29 lots of fluorouracil injection in 10-ml vials because of possible contamination with glass particles. The next day, the company announced a short-term solution "to avoid a shortage of this important chemotherapeutic drug." The "Urgent Product Recall" letter stated that the company shipped the single-dose 10-ml vials from September 2004 through Aug. 19 of this year. Anyone in possession of those vials must return them to the firm's Bensenville, Ill., facility. The Sept. 20 "Urgent Drug Correction" letter describes "kits" that the company will soon start supplying until "alternate product" becomes available. Each kit contains 10 5-micrometer filter needles from Becton, Dickinson, 10 10-ml vials of APP's fluorouracil injection 50 mg/ml, and 10 copies of the Urgent Drug Correction letter. Back to top

R.Ph. arrested in Net Rx drug bust
One pharmacist was among the 18 people arrested by DEA in a crackdown on Internet sales of prescription drugs. Agents shut down at least 4,600 Web sites and seized 2,400 checks and money orders written for $200 each, boxes of cash, and seven luxury cars. The operators of the 'Net pharmacies, which could fill about 5,000 orders daily, averaged more than $50,000 per day in profits. The agency charged that doctors who approved scripts were paid $20 per Rx and the unnamed R.Ph. was paid $10 to $15 per Rx. Back to top

DrugMax expands Worksite Pharmacy business
DrugMax, a specialty pharmacy and drug distribution provider, announced that it has signed a contract with the Scotts Co. to manage a new Worksite Pharmacy that will exclusively service Scotts' associates and retirees and their families. The Worksite Pharmacy will be located in the new Scotts Wellness Center on Scotts' corporate headquarters campus in Marysville, Ohio. The center is slated to open later this year and will be managed by Cleveland-based Whole Health Management, a provider of on-site medical care. Back to top

VA drug program cheaper than Medicare?
Families USA, an advocacy group, has conducted a study that found that people who get their drug benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs paid about $220 less for a yearlong prescription than did those who used the government's Medicare drug card. Families USA said older people using the discount cards paid more than they would have paid through the VA for 49 of the 50 most frequently used drugs for senior citizens. CMS responded to the finding by saying that the discount cards provided a savings of 10% to 25% for those who did not have drug coverage and that it's not fair to compare them with the upcoming Medicare prescription drug benefit. Families USA focused on a zip code in Cincinnati for its study. The study involved several discount cards, each of which covered the 50 most used drugs. The prices were compared with prices shown on the Web site for VA pharmacy benefits and were also confirmed with a VA employee.

Meanwhile, PCMA issued a statement calling the VA model "a nonstarter for the Medicare program and for anyone who cares about balancing prescription drug cost and access. Under the VA approach, America's seniors and disabled beneficiaries would have severely restricted choices and the commercial marketplace would be subject to a massive cost shift as artificially low drug prices in Medicare forced working families, unions, and small businesses to pay more for their Rxs." Back to top

MinuteClinic opens at seven CVS stores in Indianapolis
MinuteClinic healthcare centers have opened at seven CVS locations throughout the metropolitan Indianapolis area. MinuteClinic healthcare centers are staffed by family nurse practitioners. MinuteClinic, a privately held company, also operates 33 healthcare centers located in Baltimore, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Nashville. Back to top