784 Layoffs at Embroiled Mail-Order Pharmacy

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After multiple reports that mail-order pharmacy Philidor Rx Services used questionable tactics to get insurance companies to pay for the drugs it dispensed, the company is closing two Montgomery County facilities and laying off a total of 784 workers in the region. It’s also closing a plant in Phoenix and laying off a total of 264 people there.

Specialty pharmaceutical companies typically dispense high-cost drugs that require special packaging and handling like refrigeration. Think injectable shots for ailments ranging from diabetes to arthritis to cancer. Philidor came under fire for reportedly “changing doctor’s prescriptions and using other pharmacies’ identification numbers — to get insurers to pay for the drugs it dispensed,” according to the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal adds that the company allegedly “used unorthodox tactics to ensure payment, such as submitting a prescription over and over at different prices until an insurer would agree to pay, according to former employees and pharmacy industry officials. And the medicines weren’t drugs requiring special handling, pharmacists say.” Read more »

“Heroin Antidote” Nasal Spray Gets FDA Approval

Narcan Nasal Spray can be administered in an emergency to reverse the effects of opioid overdose until help arrives.

Narcan Nasal Spray can be administered in an emergency to reverse the effects of opioid overdose until help arrives.

Heroin usage has reached epidemic proportions in the United States — and families in Philadelphia have certainly been feeling its wrath. In fact, deaths nationally from the drug have quadrupled from 2002 to 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Adapt Pharma Limited, which has its U.S. headquarters in Radnor, Pa., has a drug to help combat the heroin overdose problem — and overdoses from other opioids. On Thursday, it just won Food and Drug Administration approval. Read more »