BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Selected as a Specialty Pharmacy with Access to the Limited Distribution Oncology Drug Tarceva


BioPlus was selected as a specialty pharmacy supplier for the new Tarceva network.

The medication Tarceva (erlotinib) from Genentech and Astellas Pharma US, Inc will no longer be distributed through retail pharmacies, effective July 1, 2013. Tarceva will be supplied through BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy (BioPlus) and other select specialty pharmacies.

Tarceva is a once daily oral non-chemotherapy cancer treatment. Tarceva is a targeted cancer treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for maintenance therapy and second- or third-line therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“BioPlus has worked for many years with patients taking Tarceva and we look forward to continuing to service oncology patients as one of the small number of specialty pharmacies with ongoing access to this limited drug,” says Sharon Ferrer, director of pharmaceutical contract management for BioPlus. “Our extensive experience and expertise with specialized cancer treatment medications makes us well-suited for helping patients with NSCLC.”

Tarceva also gained FDA approval in May 2013 as a first-line treatment of NSCLC in those with tumors testing positive on an FDA-approved test for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activating mutations. The EGFR Mutation Test was validated in the European Randomized Trial of Tarceva versus Chemotherapy (EURTAC) study. The EURTAC study also showed that patients with this mutation lived longer with Tarceva treatment. Tarceva is believed to work by slowing or blocking activity of epidermal growth factor receptor 1, which is otherwise needed by cancer cells to grow.

“Both patients and their physicians benefit from our Cancer Care Management Plan at BioPlus,” explains Ferrer, “which includes reimbursement support (to aid in obtaining prior authorizations, benefit investigation, and verifying co-pays), clinical support (to provide therapy management, refill reminders, and patient care coordination), and 24/7 patient monitoring with personalized service.”

In 2013 an estimated 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer, with NSCLC accounting for 85 percent of lung cancer cases, according to the American Cancer Society. The majority of people diagnosed will already be in an advanced stage of the disease.

About BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy

BioPlus is a pharmacist-owned, URAC accredited, national specialty infusion pharmacy providing high-touch services and specialty pharmaceuticals for patients with chronic diseases such as hepatitis, bleeding disorders, immune deficiencies, neuromuscular disorders, cancer, and other conditions. Licensed in all 50 states, BioPlus is one of the nation’s largest independent specialty pharmacies. Accredited by VIPPS, Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), and the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), patients can contact the Pharmacy toll free at 1-888-514-8082.


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