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Sandra Levy

Senior Editor


January 2021

President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to fully activate the pharmacies across this country to get the vaccinations into more arms as quickly as possible is garnering praise from industry organizations.

A pharmacist preparing a prescription in a bottle.

Sun Pharma is launching docetaxel injection and relaunching its valacyclovir tablets.

Pharmacy shelves with various medications.

Following the FDA's approval of Hikma’s ANDA for generic Advair Diskus in December 2020, Hikma has submitted an amendment to its application to the FDA which reflects enhanced packaging controls to meet new industry standards adopted since the initial submission of its ANDA application.

Etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring products had a market value of more than $837 million, according to IQVIA November 2020 data.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ new campaign carries the message that pharmacies can meet the demand for 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in one month when such supply is available.

CVS Health is offering the Symphony medical alert system, a collection of in-home and wearable devices that can monitor room temperature and older adults for falls and motion, as well as provide a 24/7 emergency response.

Hy-Vee storefront.

Hy-Vee customers who take COVID-19 antibody testing at more than 250 of its pharmacy locations will receive results in 15 minutes.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that retail pharmacies can meet the demand for 100 million COVID-19 vaccines in one month.

The National Quality Forum’s Rural Telehealth and Health Care System Readiness committee aims to develop a measurement framework to assess the impact of telehealth on rural health care systems.

Vials containing injection.

The Food and Drug Administration has informed Biocon Biologics and Mylan, a subsidiary of Viatris, of a deferred action on the biologics license application for MYL-14020, a biosimilar to Roche's Avastin (bevacizumab).

Healthcare worker giving vaccine.

The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging state and local health departments to enlist the community pharmacies in their jurisdictions to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

Person at a virtual event on computer.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting will be held virtually from April 26 to 28 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alembic's Timolol Maleate Ophthalmic Gel Forming Solution provides treatment for elevated intraocular pressure in patients with ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma.

CVS exterior.

Coram, CVS Health’s infusion care business, will administer cancer treatment at home for eligible Cancer Treatment Centers of America patients.

Two modern office buildings.

With its acquisition of Kashiv Specialty, Amneal will gain a pipeline of 505(b)2 branded products primarily in neurology and endocrinology, as well as a pipeline of complex generics.

URAC's new Small Mail Service Pharmacy accreditation offering joins the already-existing Small Specialty Pharmacy Offering, which launched in 2019.

Schnucks storefront.

Money raised during Schnucks' Round Up at the Register campaign supports local programs and services, including helping to provide food, shelter, child care and job training, throughout the year.

CVS Health has named Laurie Havanec as chief people officer, succeeding Lisa Bisaccia who is retiring after 16 years.

Kinney Drugs exterior.

All New York Kinney Drugs pharmacies will receive initial doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to administer only to those age 75 years old and older.

White tablets spilling out of a prescription bottle.

The Uloric brand and generic had a market value of approximately $108 million for the most recent 12 months ended October 2020, according to IQVIA.

Pharmacist at a computer.

EnlivenHealth’s CareScheduler enables hands-free scheduling, vaccine registry reporting and patient outreach for the administration of vaccines and other point-of-care services.

U.S. Capitol building.

NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson shared his thoughts with staff and members on the horrendous events at the nation's Capitol on Jan. 6.

White pills spilling out of a bottle.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Amneal’s abiraterone acetate tablets in a dosage strength of 500 mg.

Generic pill bottles.

Sun Pharmaceutical's methylphenidate hydrochloride ER tablets are available in four dosage strengths.

Ted Schnuck, the new vice president of Schnucks' fresh division, also will be part of the company's strategy team.

A hand signing a document that another hand is holding.

The Everstone Group is investing up to $50 million in Series B funding to expand and accelerate Slayback's pipeline of complex generic and specialty pharmaceutical products.

Oral liquid bottle.

Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim oral suspension has a market value of approximately $19 million.

Michelle Peluso, previously senior vice president, digital sales and chief marketing officer at IBM, will join CVS Health as the company's first chief customer officer.

A healthcare worker putting on gloves.

CVS Health and Walgreens said they expect to complete the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in skilled long-term care facilities nationwide by Jan. 25.

Hy-Vee interior.

Hy-Vee is rolling out Healthie, a virtual dietitian service platform that provides free services, including virtual store tours, dietitian discovery sessions and monthly virtual classes, as well as fee-based services.

Pharmacist preparing a vaccine.

Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb is appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and in the pages of The Wall Street Journal to urge the government to use pharmacies to speed up COVID-19 vaccine delivery.

A female pharmacist at a computer.

TotalVue Analytics provides health systems with visibility into shipping trends to identify opportunities to reduce freight costs, including inbound shipments from suppliers or outbound shipments from sites of care, the company said.

A pharmacist preparing a prescription in a bottle.

Amitiza had a market value of approximately $427 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2020, according to IQVIA.

A pharmacist holding a prescription box.

Aurobindo began selling clorazepate dipotassium tablets in three dosage strengths on Jan. 1.

Various generic pills and capsules.

Biocon's tacrolimus capsules reduces the body’s ability to reject a transplanted organ.

CVS Pharmacy is inviting customers to vote online for their preferred health-and-wellness, beauty and snack products exclusive to the chain in 13 categories.

Generic pill bottles.

The Mahwah, N.J.-based company has received approval or tentative approval for generics of Otezla, Cialis and Horizant.

A puzzle piece featuring a representation of a person.

Micah Cost will join the Pharmacy Quality Alliance as CEO on Feb. 1, succeeding Laura Cranston, who has held the position since 2006 and announced her planned departure in June.

December 2020

White pills spilling out of a bottle.

Aminocaproic acid has a market value of approximately $12.7 million, according to IQVIA.

An illustration of an envelope with a paper that has a check mark.

Slayback Pharma's Merzee is a generic estrogen/progestin combination oral contraceptive.

Vials containing injection.

The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday recommended Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for a second COVID-19 vaccine in the United States to be distributed in the coming week.

Camber's baclofen tablets are available in a dosage strength of 10 mg in 100- and 1000-count bottles, as well as a dosage strength of 20 mg, in 100-, 500- and 1000-count bottles.

Hy-Vee interior.

Hy-Vee is inviting Midwestern vendors to submit products via virtual presentations for potential distribution at its more than 275 stores.

A man holding an FDA approved sign.

Amgen's biosimilar Rituxan is expected to be available in January 2021.

Patient with a pharmacist,

The NACDS Foundation is highlighting the several initiatives and research projects it undertook this past year in alignment with its vision for public health and patient outcomes. 

The words approved in caps and red letters.

GSK's Benlysta is now approved for patients with active lupus nephritis.

Fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder 100mcg/50mcg, respectively, and 250mcg/50mcg, have a market value of approximately $2 billion in the 12 months ending September 2020, according to IQVIA.

Pharmacist with a cellphone.

Updox's COVID-19 vaccine response package includes secure text, broadcast messaging and electronic forms.

A gold star trophy.

The NACDS-funded research paper recognized by APhA centers on the Optimizing Care Model, which aims to increase patient access to clinical care delivered in community pharmacies by leveraging expanded roles of pharmacy technicians.

The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging Congressional leaders to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to help independent pharmacies who have been on the front lines serving patients amid the pandemic.

Schnucks teammates will receive a $15 gift card to a restaurant within five miles of their work location in order for the retailer to support local business while recognizing its employees.

An illustration of two men and wheels to signify partnership.

iA’s Symphony Software platform will integrate the BD Rowa Pouch Packaging Solution, expanding iA’s solutions offering to include compliance packaging.

Rite Aid’s new RxEvolution strategy for success is its Store of the Future, in which the intent is bringing pharmacists out of their customary place in the back of the store and prominently placing them front and center.

Injectable vials.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine could be administered to the public as early as Dec. 21, if it wins emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Hy-Vee storefront.

Hy-Vee's full-time pharmacists who administer rapid antigen COVID-19 tests each will receive a $500 bonus, while part-time pharmacists and technicians each will receive a $250 bonus.

White pill bottle against a blue background.

Ramelteon had a market value of approximately $26 million for the 12 months ended October 2020, according to IQVIA.

A female pharmacist at a computer.

STChealth and 1health are rolling out an open platform that will provide pharmacists, physicians and patients with an easy to navigate tool to capture vaccination results, reported side effects and immunization reminders.

An illustration of an envelope with a paper that has a check mark.

Novadoz has commenced shipping generic Fareston, and will begin shipping generic Amicar shortly.

A pharmacist preparing a prescription in a bottle.

Celgene has agreed to provide Cipla with a license to its patents required to manufacture and sell certain volume-limited amounts of generic lenalidomide in the United States beginning on a confidential date some time after March 2022.

Injectable vials.

The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee's recommendation to the agency for emergency use authorization of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine will likely lead to approval of the vaccine in a matter of days.

A man holding an FDA approved sign.

Saphris had a market value of $239 million during the 12 months ended September 2020, according to industry data.

CVS time delay safe.

All 79 CVS Pharmacy locations in Oklahoma , including those in Target stores, are now using time-delay safe technology.

Hands typing on a keyboard.

NACDS and coalition members are urging Congress to ensure that CMS is able to establish a Jan. 1, 2022 deadline for EPCS compliance to help address opioid-abuse issues.

Bonum Health will provide telemedicine services to the patients of approximately 100 Kinney Drug retail pharmacies in New York and Vermont, as well as the Rx discount card members of ProAct.

CVS exterior.

CVS Health is contributing $2 million via its Project Health initiative to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to help distribute flu vaccines to those who may otherwise not have access, among other efforts.

Supreme court.

The Supreme court ruled 8-0 that an Arkansas law prohibiting PBMs from reimbursing pharmacies at a lower rate than what the pharmacies pay to fill prescriptions is valid and not preempted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

Here is a look at the shining stars in the pharmacy technology and automation industry that are helping pharmacists juggle their responsibilities and the products and services they are offering.

Camber's generic Sensipar tablets are available in 30-mg, 60-mg and 90-mg dosage strengths and come in 30-count bottles.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson hosted a leadership webinar with Rick Keyes of Meijer and Colleen Lindholz of Kroger to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the industry.

As illustrated in the “91st Edition HDA Factbook,” total distributor sales reached $519 billion in 2019.

Two modern office buildings.

Baxter is seeking to buy pharmacy technology company Omnicell for more than $5 billion, according to Reuters.

For National Influenza Vaccination Week, NACDS and the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention launched a 60-second video featuring mayors nationwide, urging Americans to get vaccinated against the flu.

Teva's generic Entereg is available in a dosage strength of 12 mg.

CVS exterior.

CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation are stepping up their efforts to bring access to food and health care to people in underserved Ohio communities.

A gold star among white stars.

Recipients of the Professionwide Awards will be officially recognized at APhA 2021, which is scheduled to take place from March 12 to 15, 2021.

Camber's generic Yasmin is available in 3 mg/0.03 mg-3 blister cards of 28 tablets.

President-elect Joe Biden's health team designees include several high-ranking health officials, including Xavier Becerra as his pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and several appointees focused on combating COVID-19.

Vials of injectables.

Leucadia's generic Ofirmex provides a treatment for mild to moderate pain, management of moderate to severe pain with adjunctive opioid analgesics and reduction of fever.

Agile Therapeutics’ once-weekly Twirla is the first and only contraceptive patch that combines levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol.

White pills spilling out of a bottle.

Alembic’s metolazone tablets will be available in dosage strengths of 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg.

A gold star trophy.

The APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Awards and APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science Awards will be presented at the APhA2021 virtual conference from March 12- 15.

A pharmacist with a patient.

As part of Operation Warp Speed, Coram, the infusion care business of CVS Health, will provide timely patient access to new monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of COVID-19.

Admiral Brett Giroir, Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for health, paid a visit to LaPharmacy, a Health Mart pharmacy in Louisiana, to recognize the pharmacy team for their COVID-19 test collection efforts.

Hy-Vee storefront.

Hy-Vee is hiring full- and part-time licensed pharmacy technicians across its more than 270 pharmacies as it expands COVID-19 testing and prepares for a COVID-19 vaccine.

An illustration of an envelope with a check mark.

Aurobindo's generic Acular will be available as a 0.5% strength ophthalmic solution.

A healthcare worker  preparing a vaccination.

NACDS has joined the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project, which includes 60 organizations collaborating to provide information about vaccines for the illness that prioritizes equity and trust.

Vivid Clear Rx will offer PBM services to help Hy-Vee employees, and other employers better manage healthcare costs.

Longs Drugs unveiled three new HealthHub store formats in Hawaii.

At the NACDS Retail Advisory Board's virtual meeting, members discussed priority industry issues, COVID-19 and NACDS' members' work throughout the pandemic.

A pharmacy stock room.

The U.S. District Court of Delaware's decision prevents Actavis from launching generic versions of Quillivant XR until February 2031.

Tuesday's panel tackled how the pandemic has accelerated change at retail pharmacy, including key learnings from the past nine months and how retail healthcare strategies have had to adapt throughout.

Hy-Vee storefront.

Hy-Vee Plus premium membership offers customers added savings and exclusive benefits and services across all areas of the store, both in-store and online, for $99 per year.

A man holding an FDA approved sign.

Depen had a market value of approximately $4 million, according to September 2020 IQVIA data.

Fresenius Kabi's icatibant injection is supplied as a 3-ml, prefilled, single-use syringe that is self-administered subcutaneously into the abdominal area.

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