Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Drug Channels News Roundup, August 2016: Rite Aid, Teva, Anda, AmerisourceBergen, Specialty Pharmacies, and Walmart

Sigh. Summer is almost over. Time to pack away your bathing suit, send the kids back to school, and savor this curated collection of curiosities, combed from the Drug Channels beach.

In this issue:
  • Mini me! Rite Aid finally launches a 90-day program with its PBM
  • A warning for big wholesalers? Teva and Perrigo both buy distributors
  • Unusual: Specialty Pharmacies’ Fraud Risks with U&C
  • Steady On: An enlightening interview with Peyton Howell of AmerisourceBergen
Plus, Walmart demonstrates its true commitment to health and wellness with a bold new food innovation. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

P.S. Check out @DrugChannels on Twitter for my daily links to stuff you should be reading.

Rite Aid and EnvisionRx Collaborate to Improve Medication Adherence and Health Outcomes Through New Rx90 Program, Rite Aid press release

Last week, Rite Aid finally announced a major program with its pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRx. Under the new Rx90 program, a beneficiary can obtain maintenance medications from either a Rite Aid retail pharmacy or EnvisionPharmacies’ mail pharmacy. This model permits consumer choice of pharmacy channel (mail or retail) but limits the choice to Rite Aid dispensing channels.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because Rx90 replicates the model developed by CVS Health’s Maintenance Choice program, the most prominent limited network model for commercial plan sponsors. I predicted precisely this move when Rite Aid announced its February 2015 acquisition of EnvisionRx. I have no idea why it took 18 months to launch the program.

The timing is also curious because Walgreens Boots Alliance is supposedly on the verge of completing its acquisition of Rite Aid. (CLARIFICATION: Walgreens is part of the Rx90 network, per the Rx90 fact sheet.) Hmmm.

Teva Announces Acquisition of Anda Inc., Teva press release

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries acquired Allergan’s Anda Distribution business for $500 million. Anda is one of the largest distributors of generic pharmaceuticals in the U.S. Its business, however, suffered when CVS Health acquired Target’s pharmacies and shifted generic purchasing volume to Red Oak. In 2015, sales to Target accounted for about one-quarter of Anda Distribution’s revenues.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Perrigo will acquire Geiss, Destin & Dunn, a small national distributor of over-the-counter healthcare and consumer goods products to the non-chain retail and institutional markets.

As Auric Goldfinger once observed: "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action." If another deal happens, we'll know that drug wholesalers have overplayed their hand with small manufacturers.

Specialty Pharmacies Face Emerging Fraud Risk in 'Usual and Customary' Pricing, Specialty Pharmacy Times

Mike Hess and Julia Tamulis from Bass Berry & Sims offer this useful article on the perils of usual and customary (U&C) pricing.

Steady Hands: AmerisourceBergen's Peyton Howell, Pharmaceutical Executives

Peyton Howell, president for Global Sourcing and Manufacturer Relations at AmerisourceBergen, shares her thoughts on generic pricing, manufacturer relationships, globalization, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and more. Worthwhile reading.

Sweet! How Deep-Fried Twinkies Debuted at Walmart, Walmart Today

Yes, this is a thing. We can blame thank Hostess for this historic innovation in junk food technology.

On the plus side, I see significant business synergies with Walmart’s expansion into liposuction procedures.

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