Friday, December 18, 2009

Naughty and Nice News

Here's my December roundup of noteworthy news from the Drug Channels universe.

Find out who's been naughty and who's been nice at McKesson Corp. (NYSE:MCK). Plus, news about a new FTC commissioner who's not fond of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs); New York tries to save money with the AWP rollback; and the launch of a new mail-order pharmacy. Ho ho ho!

MCKESSON IN THE NEWS

McKesson Wins Bid To Keep Rite Aid Drug Distribution Pact
McKesson retains its position as brand drug wholesaler to Rite-Aid (NYSE:RAD) "under a contract that provides the major retail pharmacy chain 'better economic terms' than the companies' previous arrangement." Reduce margin, retain business. C'mon, people, move along, nothing new to see here.

Executives Enjoy 'Sure Thing' Retirement Plans
Heads I win, tails I win. The Wall Street Journal reports on supplemental executive retirement-savings plans with guaranteed fixed returns regardless of market conditions. Has the Journal ever published an article about excessive executive compensation that did NOT mention McKesson (NYSE:MCK)? Previous example here.

U.S. Wants Convicted Ex-McKesson Chairman McCall Jailed at Once
"Former McKesson Corp. Chairman Charles McCall, convicted last month of securities fraud, should be jailed immediately for violating the terms of his release by failing to report a 2006 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, prosecutors said in a court filing." WTF?

IN OTHER NEWS

Obama FTC Nominee Brill Has Taken On Drug-Benefit Managers
A Senate panel approved Federal Trade Commission (FTC) nominee Julie Brill, who "developed a reputation as a PBM and drug-manufacturer watchdog during a two-decade career in state government." NCPA cheers. Keep an eye on the FTC in 2010.

State cuts put small drugstores in peril
"Albany’s deficit reduction plan calls for $18.5 million in savings from Medicaid and Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) pharmacy reimbursement rates. What made those cuts possible was a September federal rule that changed the definition of the Average Wholesale Price..." As I predicted in AWP Goes Boom, commercial payers have adjusted contract while strapped states took advantage of the potential cost savings from a rollback.

Columbia House Launches Subscription Meds Program
Music and DVD mail-order giant Columbia House is entering the mail-order pharmacy business! From the press release:
"This is the best way to enjoy all the top medications by today’s pharmaceutical superstars at a low, low price," said Columbia House spokeswoman Sandra Farrell. "There’s no more waiting in line for the latest releases at the pharmacy, and because Columbia House sells directly to the consumer, you can kiss Dr. Middleman goodbye."
Neat-o!

7 comments:

  1. Mckesson's in trouble again? I'm shocked!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Former McKesson Corp. Chairman Charles McCall, convicted last month of securities fraud, should be jailed immediately for violating the terms of his release by failing to report a 2006 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, prosecutors said in a court filing." WTF?

    Now it's time to liven things up again on the drugchannels...

    Maybe, maybe....can it possibly be due to the relationship McCall had with his wife? Is it ever the wife's fault?

    OK now! Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, along with a great selling season.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You realize the Columbia House news is a hoax, right? The Onion reported it...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Really? I though that The Onion is America's Finest News Source? Are you telling me that's not true?

    Dang! I've been relying on The Onion's suggestion to get a new device because my old device is now undesirable. The Onion also broke the news about Despondex.

    First I find out that pharmacies are not going broke, now you tell me that The Onion has fake news. What's next? Are you going to try to convince me that my favorite sports idol and consulting firm spokesman is actually a philandering horndog?

    No, please don't ruin my weekend...

    ;-)

    Adam

    ReplyDelete
  5. HA! Go get 'em, Adam!

    ReplyDelete
  6. "September federal rule that changed the definition of the Average Wholesale Price..." Well researched by Crains... another fine job of the press reporting the real facts.

    I must have missed the Federal rule change because I was reading Judge Saris's final order about the FDB lawsuit.

    The states did what any health plan would have, if they could have... kept the money. It was the smart thing to do. Rob C

    ReplyDelete
  7. Naughty.... Let the PBM's know we (Medicare D) members have a choice.. I ask my Pharmacist which PBM is NICE.... (although..they legally can't say) Moral of story PBMs be nice to the pharmacies and pharmacist they will be nice to you! (learned my lesson when I had to wait on a PA for every med. I was taking) guess what not any more.. power to the pharmacist and to all a good night!

    ReplyDelete

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