Content about Medicine

February 7, 2011

Shortly after Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius reached out to state governors about extending their Medicaid programs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to Sebelius emphasizing the importance of expanding patient access to prescription drugs and pharmacy services to cut healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Shortly after Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius reached out to state governors about extending their Medicaid programs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to Sebelius emphasizing the importance of expanding patient access to prescription drugs and pharmacy services to cut healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.

February 7, 2011

One of the world's largest drug makers has entered a definitive agreement to purchase a Copenhagen-based consumer healthcare business.

NEW YORK — One of the world's largest drug makers has entered a definitive agreement to purchase a Copenhagen-based consumer healthcare business.

Pfizer said Monday that it agreed to acquire from Altor 2003 Fund GP Limited Ferrosan’s consumer healthcare business, which includes a portfolio of such dietary supplements and lifestyle products as Multi-Tabs and Bifiform. Ferrosan caters to such markets as Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey and many countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

February 7, 2011

Salix Pharmaceuticals and Progenics Pharmaceuticals have entered a licensing agreement for a drug used to treat side effects of opioid use.

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — Salix Pharmaceuticals and Progenics Pharmaceuticals have entered a licensing agreement for a drug used to treat side effects of opioid use.

The two companies signed the agreement for Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide), an injected drug used to treat opioid-induced constipation in patients for whom laxatives haven’t worked.

February 4, 2011

A drug designed to treat an eye condition caused by diabetes may provide a long-term option for patients, according to Alimera Sciences.

ATLANTA — A drug designed to treat an eye condition caused by diabetes may provide a long-term option for patients, according to Alimera Sciences.

Alimera said in two three-year, phase-3 pivotal clinical trials — collectively known as the FAME Study — of Iluvien, which is designed to treat diabetic macular edema, the drug improved visual acuity among patients.

February 4, 2011

The cardiovascular drug market will turn into a difficult conquest in the years to come as it increasingly will be dominated by generics, but that isn’t stopping drug companies from continuing to develop treatments — 299 of them, according to a recent report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — for high cholesterol, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and other heart-related conditions.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The cardiovascular drug market will turn into a difficult conquest in the years to come as it increasingly will be dominated by generics, but that isn’t stopping drug companies from continuing to develop treatments — 299 of them, according to a recent report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — for high cholesterol, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and other heart-related conditions.

February 4, 2011

Hi-Tech Pharmacal subsidiary ECR Pharmaceuticals has launched a drug for treating insomnia.

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. — Hi-Tech Pharmacal subsidiary ECR Pharmaceuticals has launched a drug for treating insomnia.

ECR announced Friday the launch of Zolpimist (zolpidem tartrate) oral spray. The drug comes in units that provide 60 metered sprays, administering 5-mg or 10-mg doses of the active ingredient. As a hypnotic agent, the drug is classified as a CIV controlled substance by the federal government.

February 4, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic weight-loss drug made by Elite Pharmaceuticals.

NORTHVALE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic weight-loss drug made by Elite Pharmaceuticals.

Elite announced Friday the approval of phentermine hydrochloride in the 37.5-mg strength, a generic version of Teva’s Adipex-P.

Branded and generic versions of the drug had sales of around $40 million in 2010, according to Elite.

February 4, 2011

A drug used to treat inflammatory diseases improved the conditions of patients with psoriasis that affected the scalp compared with placebo, according to results of a new study.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — A drug used to treat inflammatory diseases improved the conditions of patients with psoriasis that affected the scalp compared with placebo, according to results of a new study.

Amgen and Pfizer on Friday announced the results of the phase-4 study of Enbrel (etanercept), in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis with scaling on the scalp, also known as scalp involvement. Data from the trial will be presented Friday at the 69th annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in New Orleans.

February 4, 2011

A private entrepreneur is close to introducing a take-home intracervical insemination fertilization kit to retail, according to a story published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Friday.

PITTSBURGH — A private entrepreneur is close to introducing a take-home intracervical insemination fertilization kit to retail, according to a story published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Friday. The product will be submitted for Food and Drug Administration approval in the first half of 2011. If approved, Steve Bollinger first plans to introduce the product into doctor’s offices before launching through retail pharmacy.

February 4, 2011

A free, publicly accessible and searchable healthcare resource developed last year by the charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores dramatically has grown since its inception.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A free, publicly accessible and searchable healthcare resource developed last year by the charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores dramatically has grown since its inception.

February 4, 2011

As much as the Affordable Care Act was a tough pill to swallow for many conservatives, the flexible spending account changes may be the first piece of what many consider to be "bad medicine" to be reversed this year. Incentivizing self-care is better medicine for all constituents.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — As much as the Affordable Care Act was a tough pill to swallow for many conservatives, the flexible spending account changes may be the first piece of what many consider to be "bad medicine" to be reversed this year. Incentivizing self-care is better medicine for all constituents.

(THE NEWS: Report: Legislation restoring FSA OTC coverage is coming. For the full story, click here)

February 4, 2011

Sam's Club pharmacies, which ranked highest among retailers in the prescription ordering and pickup process category in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. National Pharmacy Study, is expanding its services this month.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam's Club pharmacies, which ranked highest among retailers in the prescription ordering and pickup process category in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. National Pharmacy Study, is expanding its services this month.

Throughout the month of February, Sam's Club is emphasizing its pharmacy segment by offering customers a free prescription checkup on any medication, as well as a free 10-count sample of its Member's Mark fish oil supplements (except in Puerto Rico-based stores).

February 4, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic Alzheimer’s disease treatment from Sun Pharmaceutical Industries.

MUMBAI, India — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic Alzheimer’s disease treatment from Sun Pharmaceutical Industries.

Sun said Thursday that the FDA had approved its galantamine hydrobromide extended-release capsules in the 8-mg, 16-mg and 24-mg strengths.

The drug is a generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s Razadyne ER, which has annual sales of about $50 million, according to Sun.

February 4, 2011

Tennessee may be the next state to adopt an electronic tracking tool to enforce pseudoephedrine sales restrictions and combat methamphetamine production in real time.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee may be the next state to adopt an electronic tracking tool to enforce pseudoephedrine sales restrictions and combat methamphetamine production in real time.

February 4, 2011

A specialty pharmacy focused on infertility is sponsoring a giveaway campaign to attract patients to its Web-based forum.

WALTHAM, Mass. — A specialty pharmacy focused on infertility is sponsoring a giveaway campaign to attract patients to its Web-based forum.

Village Fertility Pharmacy announced Thursday that users of its Village Voices site, an online forum and repository for infertility patients to post stories and share experiences launched in late 2010, will be eligible to win weekly giveaways through the month of February. Any user who submits a story or comments on a story will be entered to win a $30 gift card for use at the pharmacy.

February 3, 2011

Chauncey Billups, point guard for the NBA's Denver Nuggets team, was named the latest spokesman for a national multimedia campaign designed to educate preteens, teens and their parents about the importance of vaccination against serious, potentially life-threatening diseases.

NEW YORK — Chauncey Billups, point guard for the NBA's Denver Nuggets team, was named the latest spokesman for a national multimedia campaign designed to educate preteens, teens and their parents about the importance of vaccination against serious, potentially life-threatening diseases.

As the latest spokesman for Vaccine for Teens, Billups will be featured in a new public service announcement, which will air on NBA media and network/cable game broadcasts.

February 3, 2011

The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging state governments to save money with generic drugs.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging state governments to save money with generic drugs.

In a document released Thursday, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged all 50 state governors to increase the use of generic drugs in their state Medicaid programs.

February 3, 2011

Drug maker Eli Lilly and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will fund research to find ways to regenerate insulin-producing cells in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug maker Eli Lilly and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will fund research to find ways to regenerate insulin-producing cells in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

The two announced Thursday that ideas included finding ways to grow new insulin-producing cells within a person’s body. Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks beta cells, the cells that allow the body to produce insulin. As many as 3 million people in the United States have Type 1 diabetes.

February 3, 2011

A new consumer-oriented compliance tool was introduced by Medi-Ring on Tuesday.

PHOENIX — A new consumer-oriented compliance tool was introduced by Medi-Ring on Tuesday.

The Medi-Ring reusable prescription label can be customized by the consumer to match prescription drugs to disease-state needs, the company said. The plastic Medi-Ring slips onto a prescription bottle, and the patient can write whatever he or she wants on it (e.g., “heart medicine” or “blood pressure”).

February 3, 2011

New legislation that supports medication therapy management, which is known to improve patient health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, has been endorsed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — New legislation that supports medication therapy management, which is known to improve patient health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, has been endorsed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

The Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2011, which was introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., builds on legislation that Hagan authored in 2010 and also was co-sponsored by Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

February 3, 2011

Merck’s vaccine for human papillomavirus is 89% effective in preventing genital warts in teenage boys and young men, according to a new study.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck’s vaccine for human papillomavirus is 89% effective in preventing genital warts in teenage boys and young men, according to a new study.

The phase-3 study of Gardasil (human papillomavirus quadrivalent [types 6, 11, 16 and 18] vaccine, recombinant) in boys and men ages 16 to 26 years was published in the Feb. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Human papillomavirus is the cause of genital and anal warts, and infection can increase the risk of developing cancer later in life.

February 3, 2011

US WorldMeds has announced a new treatment for migraines, the drug maker said Wednesday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — US WorldMeds has announced a new treatment for migraines, the drug maker said Wednesday.

The company announced the launch of Alsuma auto-injector (sumatriptan), which injects the drug sumatriptan under the skin via a single-use, prefilled auto injector. The company is selling the drug under a licensing agreement from King Pharmaceuticals.

February 3, 2011

Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to certain formulations of a GlaxoSmithKline drug used to treat cold sores.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to certain formulations of a GlaxoSmithKline drug used to treat cold sores.

Valeant announced Thursday that it had acquired the rights to nonophthalmic topical formulations of Zovirax (acyclovir) from GSK for $300 million through its Canadian subsidiary, Biovail Labs.

February 3, 2011

With the state of Colorado experiencing an increase in the number of reported whooping cough cases, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been encouraging vaccination to help increase immunity and stop the spread of the disease.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With the state of Colorado experiencing an increase in the number of reported whooping cough cases, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been encouraging vaccination to help increase immunity and stop the spread of the disease.

In response to this, Walgreens on Thursday announced that it now is offering immunizations that provide protection against pertussis (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) at all of its more than 150 stores throughout the state, every day, with no appointment necessary.

February 2, 2011

Eli Lilly’s and Amylin Pharmaceuticals’ Type 2 diabetes drug, Bydureon, appears to work better at promoting weight loss than drugs made by Takeda and Merck, but it could face a challenger of its own.

BURLINGTON, Mass. — Eli Lilly’s and Amylin Pharmaceuticals’ Type 2 diabetes drug, Bydureon, appears to work better at promoting weight loss than drugs made by Takeda and Merck, but it could face a challenger of its own.