Pharmacy Archives -
Safety violations at a major compounding pharmacy are exacerbating hospital shortages of key painkillers, particularly in California where health officials have taken the “extraordinary” step of prohibiting sales from one of its plants.
In late March, California’s Board of Pharmacy barred the distribution…
Health insurer Cigna Corp. agreed Thursday to buy pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co. for about $ 52 billion in cash and stock, extending the consolidation wave sweeping across the nation’s healthcare industry.
The deal came four months after the nation’s largest drugstore chain,…
The Department of Justice has accused a Florida pharmacy — and the Los Angeles private equity firm that owns it — of bilking a military healthcare program out of millions of dollars by pushing unneeded vitamins and creams.
In a filing in federal court in Miami, federal prosecutors said compounding…
Filling drug prescriptions online may be a big, inviting target for Amazon. But industry experts say it would pose very different challenges than selling books, toys and videogames.
WSJ.com: US Business
RxRights a national advocacy group working to protect access to affordable medication has launched a petition to oppose the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) bid to control .pharmacy—a new industry-specific Internet domain.
“A U.S.-based organization with such close ties to the pharmaceutical industry should not be allowed to dictate who gets to participate in this global portal to safe online medicine” said Lee Graczyk RxRights lead organizer.
Internet users are familiar with a handful of generic Internet domains including .com .net and .org. By year’s end a host of new domains will be launched. Their ownership and control is currently up for discussion. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the global group in charge of reviewing and approving new domains.
NABP’s application to ICANN for ownership of the .pharmacy domain is a move that advocacy groups like RxRights contend will jeopardize personal drug importation from safe Canadian and other international online pharmacies.
“The NABP has long been a critic of drug importation and has a history of lumping fake pharmacies that sell counterfeit drugs together with safe licensed international pharmacies” said Graczyk. “Given this history and their financial stake in preventing importation we believe their intention is to exclude legitimate licensed Canadian and other international pharmacies from the .pharmacy domain. We believe this tactic will harm Americans in need of affordable medicine which is why we are launching this petition that urges the ICANN board to reject NABP’s application.”
The problem of drug affordability in the U.S. is considerable. The Commonwealth Fund recently reported that 50 million Americans skipped filling a prescription because of high U.S. costs in 2012. It is estimated that nearly 5 million Americans each year import their prescription drugs from international pharmacies primarily because they need to find cheaper prices.
Public interest groups such as Public Citizen and Demand Progress also have spoken out against NABP’s application. Critics have pointed out that the NABP application for the .pharmacy domain was paid by a number of big pharmaceutical companies.
RxRights is a national coalition of individuals and organizations concerned with the high cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. For more information visit www.RxRights.org.
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The compounding pharmacy scandal has caused still more collateral damage and this time, it involves one of the largest supermarket chains in the US. Who are we talking about? Kroger, which owns Axium Healthcare Pharmacy, a specialty operator that the food and pharmacy retailer purchased last year in a bid to broaden its already large and fast-growing pharmacy business (look here and here).
Forbes Real Time
By Tim McLaughlin
Dec 21 (Reuters) – The Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday and said it would establish a fund to compensate victims.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 39 people have died and more than 600 have been injured from injections of methylprednisolone acetate, a drug typically used to ease back pain.
New England Compounding Center, the specialty pharmacy, shut down in October after shipping tainted vials of the steroid, and filed for bankruptcy with between $ 1 million to $ 10 million in assets, court documents show.
NECC, a private company based in Framingham, Massachusetts, shipped the drug to medical facilities throughout the United States. NECC had less than $ 2.34 million in debts when it filed, according to the documents in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts.
The pharmacy’s equity shareholders are Carla Conigliaro with a 55 percent stake, Barry Cadden with a 17.5 percent stake, Lisa Conigliaro Cadden with a 17.5 percent stake and Gregory Conigliaro with a 10 percent stake, the documents show. In bankruptcy, the equity of a company typically has no value.
Its largest unsecured creditor is McKesson Drug and it owes it $ 143,169, the documents show.
The company said in a statement that it has filed papers with the court to pursue a greater, quicker payout to its creditors than they could achieve through piecemeal litigation.
NECC said Keith Lowey would be NECC’s independent director and chief restructuring officer. He will oversee setting up a compensation fund.
“We want to assemble a substantial fund, and then distribute it fairly and efficiently to those who are entitled to relief,” Lowey said in a statement.
NECC’s bankruptcy counsel is Daniel Cohn of Murtha Cullina LLP.
Before the deadly outbreak, NECC escaped harsh punishment from health regulators several times in the years leading up to the health crisis that has raised questions about oversight of the customized drug mixing industry, Massachusetts records show.
Problems at NECC date as far back as 1999, the year after it began operations, according to hundreds of pages of documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.
And the documents show regulators refraining from the harshest sanctions available to them, even as the list of complaints against NECC continued to grow.
The documents came to light after steroid shots from NECC were given to thousands of patients across the country.
Among the reported problems was a company official handing out blank prescriptions. And an outside evaluation firm found inadequate documentation and inadequate process controls involving sterilization at NECC in 2006, the documents show.