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December 20, 2012

Retail co-pays for drugs are on the rise across all drug types, according to a new study by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.

PLANO, Texas — Retail co-pays for drugs are on the rise across all drug types, according to a new study by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.

The study, based on a survey of 424 U.S. employers representing about 3.7 million members, found that retail co-pays increased 10% for generics, 13% for branded drugs and 26% for specialty drugs. Meanwhile, there was an increase in use of multitier designs, which now represent 92% of plan sponsors, while adoption of medication therapy management for commercial populations was "minimal."

December 20, 2012

Actavis has donated $200,000 worth of medicines to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy, a charity organization said Thursday.

STAMFORD, Conn. — Actavis has donated $200,000 worth of medicines to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy, a charity organization said Thursday.

AmeriCares announced that it donated the antibiotics, pediatric medicines and other drugs to healthcare providers helping affected families in New York and New Jersey within days of the storm. Actavis was acquired earlier this year by Watson Pharmaceuticals.

December 19, 2012

Predictions of a more active flu season are coming true as temperature differences have helped drive flu activity, a Citibank financial analyst wrote.

NEW YORK — Predictions of a more active flu season are coming true as temperature differences have helped drive flu activity, a Citibank financial analyst wrote.

In a letter to investors, Citi Research analyst Deborah Weinswig wrote that influenza virus activity in the week ended Dec. 8 increased year over year for the ninth consecutive time this season and increased significantly compared with last week — up 28.3% compared with last week's 20.7%.

December 19, 2012

A single lot of a congestion-relief product has been recalled due to bacterial contamination found in a sample, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A single lot of a congestion-relief product has been recalled due to bacterial contamination found in a sample, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

December 19, 2012

Nutra Pharma will introduce a stronger version of its OTC pain reliever, the company said Wednesday.

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Nutra Pharma will introduce a stronger version of its OTC pain reliever, the company said Wednesday.

Nutra Pharma — which is developing treatments for such diseases as HIV, multiple sclerosis and adrenomyeloneuropathy — announced the planned introduction of Nyloxin Military Strength in order to combat opiate abuse and overuse of NSAIDs by military personnel.

December 19, 2012

The changing healthcare environment and the challenges and opportunities of specialty pharmacy were the biggest themes at Acro Pharmaceutical Services' sixth annual Payer and Managed Care Symposium in Philadelphia last Thursday.

PHILADELPHIA — The changing healthcare environment and the challenges and opportunities of specialty pharmacy were the biggest themes at Acro Pharmaceutical Services' sixth annual Payer and Managed Care Symposium in Philadelphia last Thursday.

Representatives from drug makers and across the specialty pharmacy space met at the Hyatt at the Bellevue to discuss a wide variety of topics related to specialty pharmacy.

December 19, 2012

Walgreens will keep stores open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to allow last-minute Christmas shopping, the retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens will keep stores open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to allow last-minute Christmas shopping, the retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

This includes 1,600 24-hour locations that will be open around the clock, while most Walgreens stores will stay open until midnight through Dec. 23, and nearly all stores will be open during regular hours on Christmas Eve, including pharmacies, which will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. On Christmas, non-24-hour stores will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., and pharmacies will be open at 24-hour stores.

December 18, 2012

Negative perceptions of generic drugs are more likely among blacks and Hispanics, according to a new study.

NEW YORK — Negative perceptions of generic drugs are more likely among blacks and Hispanics, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Ethnicity & Disease, found that negative perceptions of generic drugs were more widespread among ethnic minorities than among whites.

December 18, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved two generic versions of a drug to treat HIV, according to agency records.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved two generic versions of a drug to treat HIV, according to agency records.

The FDA approved abacavir sulfate tablets in the 300-mg strength made by Apotex and Aurobindo.

The drug is a generic version of Viiv Healthcare's Ziagen.


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December 18, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic malaria drug made by Mylan, the drug maker said Tuesday.

PITTSBURGH — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic malaria drug made by Mylan, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Mylan announced the approval of quinine sulfate capsules in the 324-mg strength and has begun shipping it. The drug is a generic version of Mutual Pharmaceutical's Qualaquin and is used to treat uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Various versions of the drug had sales of about $31.9 million during the 12-month period ended in September 2012, according to IMS Health.

December 18, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new four-strain flu vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline, the drug maker said.

LONDON — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new four-strain flu vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline, the drug maker said.

GSK announced the approval of its Fluarix Quadrivalent (influenza virus vaccine) for children and adults against seasonal influenza subtypes A and B. The company said the vaccine was the first for intramuscular injection that protects against four strains of the virus.

December 18, 2012

More than two-thirds of generic drugs carry safety warning labels different from those of their branded equivalents, according to a new study.

INDIANAPOLIS — More than two-thirds of generic drugs carry safety warning labels different from those of their branded equivalents, according to a new study.

December 18, 2012

Supplement maker iSatori has launched a new weight-loss supplement product, the company said.

GOLDEN, Colo. — Supplement maker iSatori has launched a new weight-loss supplement product, the company said.

BioGenetic Labs, a division of the company, announced Tuesday the pending launch of Belly-Off, a combination of conjugated linoleic acid, guarana, yerba mate and damiana designed to help users reduce belly fat. The company plans to start shipping the product this month and make it available at retailers nationwide in January 2013.

December 18, 2012

A new product makes gripping such things as eating utensils, pens and toothbrushes easier for people with arthritis.

WAYNE, N.J. — A new product makes gripping such things as eating utensils, pens and toothbrushes easier for people with arthritis.

Maddak announced the availability of the Universal Built-Up Handle, designed as a "do-it-yourself" product to enlarge the gripping surfaces of common household items.

December 18, 2012

A majority of prescribers would prescribe biosimilar versions of two treatments for rheumatoid arthritis within a year of their approval, according to a new study.

BURLINGTON, Mass. — A majority of prescribers would prescribe biosimilar versions of two treatments for rheumatoid arthritis within a year of their approval, according to a new study.

December 18, 2012

The head of the American Pharmacists Association has been tapped as the chairman of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, the PQA said Tuesday.

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The head of the American Pharmacists Association has been tapped as the chairman of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, the PQA said Tuesday.

The PQA announced the appointment of APhA EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan, who will succeed Judith Cahill, who has served on the organization's board since its 2006 inception, including a recently completed two-year stint as chairwoman.

December 18, 2012

Drug maker Merz Pharmaceuticals is suing Par Pharmaceutical over the latter's attempt to market a generic drug for cerebral palsy patients, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Drug maker Merz Pharmaceuticals is suing Par Pharmaceutical over the latter's attempt to market a generic drug for cerebral palsy patients, according to published reports.

Bloomberg reported that Merz sued Par in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware after Par attempted to apply for Food and Drug Administration approval for a generic version of Cuvposa (glycopyrrolate) oral solution, used to treat severe drooling in cerebral palsy patients.

The drug received FDA approval this year, and Merz bought rights to the drug in August.

December 18, 2012

The Vitamin Shoppe will buy a Pacific Northwest-based supplement chain, the New Jersey-based company said.

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The Vitamin Shoppe will buy a Pacific Northwest-based supplement chain, the New Jersey-based company said.

The Vitamin Shoppe said it would buy Super Supplements for $50 million. Super Supplements operates 31 stores in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and the Vitamin Shoppe said the acquisition would expand its presence in the Northwest, where it already operates 17 stores. The transaction is expected to close on Dec. 31.

December 17, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new biotech drug from GlaxoSmithKline for anthrax, the drug maker said.

LONDON — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new biotech drug from GlaxoSmithKline for anthrax, the drug maker said.

GSK announced the approval of raxibacumab for adults and children who have inhaled Bacillus anthracis. The drug is designed for combination with antibiotics and for preventing inhalational anthrax when alternative therapies aren't available. The drug is the result of a project that Human Genome Sciences, now owned by GSK, began working on in 2001 in response to terrorist anthrax attacks in the United States.

December 17, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat a rare but serious endocrine disorder.

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat a rare but serious endocrine disorder.

Swiss drug maker Novartis announced the approval of Signifor (pasireotide), an injectable drug for treating Cushing's disease in adults for whom pituitary surgery is not an option or has not been curative. Novartis said Signifor was the first drug to be approved in the United States that addresses the disease's underlying mechanism.

December 17, 2012

The consumer products division of British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline wants its voice heard at a Food and Drug Administration hearing scheduled for next year on a section in a 2009 law to regulate tobacco products that deals with smoking-cessation products, the company said Monday.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The consumer products division of British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline wants its voice heard at a Food and Drug Administration hearing scheduled for next year on a section in a 2009 law to regulate tobacco products that deals with smoking-cessation products, the company said Monday.

December 17, 2012

What pharmacy lobbying groups and Drug Store News have been saying for a while has reached the mainstream.

NEW YORK — What pharmacy lobbying groups and Drug Store News have been saying for a while has reached the mainstream.

The New York Times published an editorial over the weekend recommending that the country address its shortage of primary care doctors by relying more on other healthcare actors — such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners and patients themselves — as well as physician assistants and members of the community.

December 17, 2012

Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is selling its generics business to India-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Takeda said.

OSAKA, Japan — Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical is selling its generics business to India-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Takeda said Monday.

Takeda said it would sell URL Pharma, through U.S. subsidiary Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, to Sun subsidiary Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs while retaining control of the gout treatment Colcrys (colchicine). Takeda acquired rights to Colcrys when it bought URL Pharma for $800 million in June 2012; financial terms of the current deal with Caraco were not disclosed.

December 17, 2012

Target has launched new products and a co-pay assistance program for customers with diabetes, the mass merchandise retailer said.

NEW YORK — Target has launched new products and a co-pay assistance program for customers with diabetes, the mass merchandise retailer said.

Target announced the release of new blood glucose meters and test strips. The retailer also offers products like alternative site lancets, alcohol prep pads and diabetic nutritional shakes.

The company also announced the launch of a $4 co-pay assistance program, as well as a free private-label blood glucose meter for customers who qualify for the program.

December 14, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new leukemia drug made by Ariad Pharmaceuticals, the agency said.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new leukemia drug made by Ariad Pharmaceuticals, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Iclusig (ponatinib) to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also known respectively as CML and Ph+ ALL.