Thursday, May 12, 2011

Drug Channels News Roundup: May 2011

Here are four articles worth reading, hand-picked by your friendly neighborhood blogger.
  • What’s going on with Lipitor? An excellent overview of the generic Lipitor controversy.
  • What about ACOs? Thought-provoking ideas on what accountable care organizations could mean for managed care contracting
  • What’s up, Doc? RFID used to track physicians, but not drugs.
  • WTF? Mississippi allows pharmacists to oversee PBMs
Plus, a hilarious correction from The New York Times.

The War over Lipitor
Here’s an excellent primer on Ranbaxy’s challenge in launching atorvastatin, the generic version of Pfizer’s (NYSe:PFE) Lipitor. If Ranbaxy can’t get its act together, then the only products on the market during the six-month exclusivity period will be Lipitor and an authorized generic version of Lipitor sold by Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:WPI). Bizarre!

Accountable Care Orgs & Pharma: Ian Explains
I enjoyed this interview from Pharmalot on how pharmaceutical manufacturers might have to deal with the as-yet-undefined Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Will ACOs establish formularies and negotiate discounts? Will ACOs drive drug utilization to Medicare Part D in order to reduce Part A and B costs?

The Implications of Physician Tag and Release

A physician-blogger writes about "tag and release"-- tracking physician's movements at scientific conferences using RFID tags imbedded in attendees name badges. I presume they can finally weed out all of the counterfeit docs.

Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act signed into law
Wow. Just … wow. Over the objections of both the Federal Trade Commission and common sense, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour signed the Mississippi Pharmacy Practice Act (SB 2445) into law, giving oversight of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy. I wrote about this bill in New Comments on PBMs from FTC Staffers. Amazing what good lobbying and a few factual misrepresentations will buy today!

New York Times Apologizes for Getting Fooled by The Onion
This is not a joke. (Really). In April, The New York Times published an article documenting the history of teen magazine Tiger Beat. In the collection of covers, they included a parody cover featuring President Obama that was created by The Onion in 2007. It’s legit—click the NYT link and see the correction at the bottom. Better not tell the Times about Amazon and Rite-Aid!

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