Company news: AstraZeneca and Merck

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AstraZeneca launched a home-delivery program for breast cancer drug Arimidex through PBM Express Scripts. AZ spokesperson Anna Padula told MM&M that generics pushed Arimidex off of many formularies in 2010 and that the program was spurred by patients who, forced to pay for Arimidex out of pocket, entreated the company for a lower price point. The home-delivery program will charge $40 for a 30-day supply, $120 for 90 days. It is the company's first direct-to-patient prescription program.

Grammy-winner Jon Secada is joining Merck's “Tune into Hep C” awareness program. The bilingual campaign is aimed at raising awareness among Hispanics, who comprise about one-third of the Americans who have the hepatitis C virus. Performers Gregg Allman and Natalie Cole are also part of the awareness campaign which Merck and the American Liver Foundation launched last year. Secada said his father, recently deceased, hid his own HCV diagnosis for a decade but eventually urged his son to “share his story to help other people like him who have chronic hepatitis C but aren't taking action.” Secada's story is featured on the site HepatitisCtocaElTema.com.

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