Jon Giacomin replaces Kaufmann as CEO of Cardinal Pharmaceutical segment
    Following the previously announced retirement Jeffrey Henderson, Michael Kaufmann (photo), a 24-year veteran of the $91-billion/yr company, takes over as CFO. Kaufmann has been head of the Pharmaceutical segment (drug wholesaling, the predominant portion of Cardinal's business) since 2009. Kaufmann's "unique blend of financial acumen and extensive operational experience make him ideally suited to take the position of CFO," said George Barrett, chairman and CEO, in a statement
    Vendor-managed system inventories and protects specialty pharmaceuticals in healthcare settings
    The ASD Healthcare unit of AmerisourceBergen (Frisco, TX) is a specialty distributor of oncology, nephrology and blood-derivative products for specialty pharmacies and clinics; for the past several years it has marketed a combined storage and inventory-management system called Cubixx. The Cubixx unit (see photo) is a refrigerator-sized, powered unit that employs RFID technology to track inventory, record additions and removals and provide security for the high-value products typically stored within it. Keeping the inventory under temperature-controlled (cold chain) conditions is also an important feature
    Tobacco-free drugstores are just part of the story
    Media coverage of the anticipated name change--including CVS Health's own press release--put an emphasis on its earlier announcement to end sales of tobacco products, which will be accomplished ahead of schedule as of today (Sept. 3). But that's only part of the changed direction that the company is following. Today's CVS Health is essentially the marriage of two drug distribution channels--retail pharmacy and mail-order-driven pharmacy benefit management (PBM); and while other retail chains have PBM and mail order arms, there is arguably no company so dominant in both channels
    Among the various 'metal' health plans, coverage increases as premiums go up, says
    It wouldn't be unexpected: higher-premium plans should have better coverage of more or higher-cost medical services, but it's nice to see that confirmed by a study by, a two-year-old consumer-health service that allows comparison shopping of plans. Its just-released study finds that across five commonly prescribed specialty products (Humira, Copaxone, Gleevec, Atripla, and Norditropin used to treat inflammation, multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV, and growth deficiency respectively), out-of-pocket (OOP) costs for patients on platinum plans were 64% lower than gold plans, 74% lower than silver plans, and 78% lower
    Airport will organize client carriers to meet new IATA standards
    The International Air Transport Assn. (Montreal) has "welcomed" the Brussels Airport "to become the first to become the first European hub for pharmaceutical freight using IATA's global certification program for shipping cold-chain pharmaceuticals," according to a statement. Over the past year, IATA, which represents the majority of air transport (passenger and cargo) capacity globally, established a certification specific to pharmaceutical transport, run by its Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV)
    MolecularHealth's RxAssistance evaluates patient access to commercial therapeutics and clinical trials
    It sounds a little gimmicky, but there is real science and informatics behind a new service from MolecularHealth (Woodlands, TX) called RxAssistance. MolecularHealth has already commercialized TreatmentMAP, what it claims to be the largest single panel genetic test, looking for over 500 genetic markers in a patient's tumor. Until now, the physician ordering the $5,000 test would receive an "actionable" report summarizing the genetic findings, and recommending up to three treatment options, based on efficacy and
    Cloud-based system is intended to focus reps' sales efforts more effectively
    Newly announced Nexxus Mobile Sales (NMS) is the latest in a series of applications for pharma commercialization efforts building off the IMS One cloud-based platform, according to the company. NMS is intended to work with most available salesforce automation (SFA) tools, which are commonly used today by reps to schedule calls, locate physicians and plan weekly or daily schedules. (This would include IMS Health's own 360 Vantage system, which the company acquired in early 2013, now rebranded as Nexxus Sales.) "One of the problems
    Meanwhile, a scramble to accelerate vaccine testing ramps up
    Direct Relief, Inc., one of a number of public health nonprofits that responds to disasters and other healthcare crises, is organizing a shipment of more than 40 tons of essential medicines and supplies to support healthcare workers trying to manage the Ebola outbreak, now affecting several countries in West Africa. The death toll has passed 1,000 (and is thought to be significantly undercounted) and the latest reports from the World Health Organisation say that it could last months. This latest shipment from Direct Relief (there has been at least one prior delivery) includes 2.3 million gloves, 65,000 masks, 92,000 gowns, and 185,000 tabs of antibiotics
    Three times as many manufacturers expect more 3PL use as expect less; 38% see no change
    A survey conducted by Sonoco ThermoSafe, one of the leading providers of passive packaging for life sciences products, shows that industry managers place performance above cost as a container-selection qualification, are looking to increase their usage of third-party logistics (3PLs) providers, and are increasingly factoring in environmental concerns with recyclability and reuse of the containers. Preliminary results are based on 165 respondents both who were both personally interviewed and who filled out an online survey. Pharmaceutical Commerce's editor in chief, Nick Basta, was part of
    Outsourced contract-administration provider highlights growth in invoicing and financial stewardship burdens
    It's no secret that managing the basic billing, payment collection and reconciliation of the pharma industry is more complicated today. Even before Obamacare (which is expanding both the number and complexity of billing entities), pharma finance departments were dealing with a bewildering array of federal and state programs, and more complicated fee-and-chargeback arrangements with wholesalers. Add to this the variety of patient-support programs, analysis of coupon programs and other financial arrangements, and the overall picture becomes ever more obscure. Nor should the trend toward more--and bigger--
    Pharmaceutical Commerce's latest report finds continued growth in these specialized logistics services
    The 5th edition of the Biopharma Cold Chain Sourcebook analyzes economic, regulatory and technological trends in a vital part of today's industry: the shipment of temperature-controlled products. The just-published report calculates that current (2014) expenditures for commercial shipments will be $8.36 billion, rising to $10.28 billion in 2018. By comparison, last year's Sourcebook estimated the 2013 cold-chain business to be $7.5 billion, rising
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Family of GTS Carry Packs handles drugs that patients self-administer
Pharmaceutical Commerce sat down with Mr. Mortazavi recently; here's what he had to say
The drive for lower costs, safer products  continued >
True 'market access' should involve coordinated approaches to patients and their healthcare providers  continued >
MDM practices are moving far beyond compliance concerns  continued >
The eye-popping price tag on the hepatitis C drug, from Gilead Sciences, has prompted unprecedented pushback from payers  continued >
2014 Cold Chain Directory
Our annual compilation of key vendors and service providers in this vital component of pharmaceutical distribution, together with a preview of the IQPC Cold Chain Forum and more late-breaking news
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