Wockhardt’s earnings devastated by FDA bans

Wockhardt’s earnings devastated by FDA bans

Problems with data manipulation, sanitation undercut sales in key markets
August 12, 2014 | By
With FDA bans in place on two plants, India’s Wockhardt saw its profits slip in the first part of this year. But with access to its largest market still severely curtailed, Wockhardt has been unable to get its financial footing and profits went crashing in its last quarter, off 94%.

Wockhardt reported Tuesday that its April-June net profit was 199.5 million rupees ($3.26 million), compared with 3.23 billion rupees ($52.9 million) a year earlier, Reuters reported. Net sales fell 27% to 9.91 billion rupees ($162 million) and were off 60% in the U.S., the company said in its earnings report.

The drugmaker had two of its manufacturing plants in India banned last year from exporting to the U.S. after inspectors found that it had been manipulating its testing data and passing for sale drugs that were not up to specs. The agency has since followed up with an intensive review of Wockhardt’s Morton Grove plant near Chicago, which was helping the drugmaker prop up its U.S. sales, citing it for many of the same kinds of problems.


NCPA Supports H.R. 4577 to Benefit Seniors; Rejects Misleading PBM Attacks

NCPA Supports H.R. 4577 to Benefit Seniors; Rejects Misleading PBM Attacks

by NCPA | Jul 22, 2014

Alexandria, Va. July 22, 2014 – National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement disputing a cost estimate released today by representatives of the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry regarding H.R. 4577, The Ensuring Seniors Access to Local Pharmacies Act:

“This study reflects that PBMs are getting desperate to continue denying convenient access to medication and pharmacy choice for Medicare seniors in medically underserved areas.

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has heard all of the PBMs’ arguments previously yet continues to reject them and instead expresses continued, strong support for the kind of patient choice protections that are embodied in H.R. 4577. CMS has disputed PBM cost-saving claims of ‘preferred’ network plans as currently structured. CMS has testified to Congress that, ‘some plans with preferred pharmacy networks do not appear to result in savings—instead of passing along savings achieved through economies of scale, these Part D plans instead charge the Part D program higher prices, increasing taxpayer costs.’ In that same testimony, CMS added that ‘expanding access to lower priced drugs’—as H.R. 4577 would do—’also has the potential to reduce government expenditures on Part D.’

Read full article here: http://www.ncpanet.org/newsroom/news-releases/2014/07/22/ncpa-supports-h.r.-4577-to-benefit-seniors-rejects-misleading-pbm-attacks


EMRs and ePrescribing: More Than “Ready” for Pharma

EMRs and ePrescribing: More Than “Ready” for Pharma
Feature Articles by on June 16th, 2014

Few facets of medicine and healthcare have experienced the rapid growth witnessed in Electronic Medical/Health Records (EMRs/EHRs) and ePrescribing over the past five years. Yet we regularly hear pundits speaking about whether EMRs are “ready” for pharma, and whether physicians and other providers will allow pharma to “play” in this space.

We’re happy to see the topic gaining so much press, but admit to being baffled by the debate about whether EMRs are “ready” for pharma. The evidence clearly supports EMRs as both a well-established method for engaging prescribers and patients and a significant growth opportunity.

The editors at PM360 also hear the ongoing chatter about EMRs and asked me to expand my regular column to provide an update on the current state of the industry as it relates to pharma, and more specifically to the pharma marketer.

How Important Is Interoperability?

We suspect we’ll be hearing the debate about whether to say “EMR or EHR” long after this issue hits print, but industry consensus is that it’s a medical record if it works just within the confines of a single provider’s office. Conversely, the system becomes a health record when information can readily be shared and understood between providers (called “interoperability”) and from provider to patient.

So does it matter which system a prescriber is using? If you are a patient that wants to have your information travel easily from a primary care provider to a specialist and from the office to the hospital and back, this distinction certainly matters. But for pharma marketers seeking to engage the prescriber and patient at the point of care, the distinction between the two types of systems—and whether or not different systems can easily talk to each other—is of much less importance.

Practically speaking, the ability to deliver messages to either the provider or patient does not depend on the level of interoperability a system possesses. So while we are happy that the industry is moving toward an improved ability to share information across practice settings, because that improves patient care and the knowledge a provider has at their disposal, this is not a distinction that matters to the pharma brand leader seeking to engage patients and providers.

We support interoperability because it is good for patients, providers and the healthcare system as a whole, but we advise our clients not to be concerned with this when considering whether or not to be active in the channel. They are separate issues, and we assure you that pharma can be very engaged with patients and providers long before EMR systems can engage each other.

eRx Reach And Growth in Scale

The 2013 edition of the National Progress Report and Safe-Rx Rankings, published by Surescripts, the nation’s largest network for ePrescribing, came to press just as we finished this article (Figure 1). We were happy to see that our past predictions of continued growth and scale were well supported by this most recent data. According to Surescripts:

  • 73% of office-based physicians are now ePrescribers, up from 69% in 2012.
  • 58% of eligible prescriptions are now routed electronically, with electronically routed Rxs now topping one billion for the first time in history. This represents a 32% increase in prescription volume compared to 2012, almost double the volume from 2011.
  • Primary care, endocrinology and physicians treating cardiovascular disease have the highest rates of ePrescribing, with 80% or more of these physicians now engaged in ePrescribing on a regular basis.
  • Routing of prescriptions to mail order pharmacies increased significantly in 2013, with a 31% increase in prescriptions to this channel. In fact, mail order prescriptions sent via EMR have grown from fewer than four million just five years ago to more than 63 million last year.
  • 95% of all pharmacies are now capable of receiving ePrescriptions, and acceptance at chain pharmacies is almost universal, with 98% capable of accepting an eRx (the common abbreviation).

Big Pharma’s Favorite Prescription: Higher Prices

Big Pharma’s Favorite Prescription: Higher Prices


Earl Harford, a retired professor who lives in Tucson, recently bought a month’s worth of the pills he needs to keep his leukemia at bay. The cost: $7,676, three times more than when he began taking the pills in 2001. Over the years he’s paid more than $140,000 of his retirement savings to cover his share of the drug’s price. “People with this condition are being taken advantage of by the pharmaceutical industry,” says Harford. “They haven’t improved the drug; they haven’t done anything but keep manufacturing it. How do they justify it?”

As evidenced by Pfizer’s (PFE) proposed $100 billion-plus takeover of AstraZeneca (AZN), Big Pharma is in the throes of the greatest period of consolidation in a decade. One reality remains unchanged, however: Drug prices keep defying the law of gravity. Since October 2007 the cost of brand-name medicines has soared, with prices doubling for dozens of established drugs that target everything from multiple sclerosis to cancer, blood pressure, and even erectile dysfunction, according to an analysis conducted for Bloomberg. While the consumer price index rose just 12 percent during the period, one diabetes drug quadrupled in price and another rose 160 percent, according to an analysis by DRX, a provider of comparison and management software for health plans.

Read Full Article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-08/why-prescription-drug-prices-keep-rising-higher#rshare=email_article