Content about Medicine

January 28, 2011

Concerns that contracting rules affecting healthcare providers that service Tricare beneficiaries could extend to retail pharmacies has prompted the country’s largest chain pharmacy lobby to file a friend-of-the-court brief in a lawsuit over the regulations.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Concerns that contracting rules affecting healthcare providers that service Tricare beneficiaries could extend to retail pharmacies has prompted the country’s largest chain pharmacy lobby to file a friend-of-the-court brief in a lawsuit over the regulations.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the defendant in the case, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor v. Florida Hospital of Orlando.

January 28, 2011

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggested that taking away the actions of a certain hormone can alter Type 1 diabetes into "an asymptomatic, noninsulin-dependent disorder."

DALLAS — Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggested that taking away the actions of a certain hormone can alter Type 1 diabetes into "an asymptomatic, noninsulin-dependent disorder."

When testing mice, the researchers found that insulin is not depended on when the body's hormone, glucagon, is suppressed.

January 27, 2011

Amylin Pharmaceuticals continued to experience losses in sales and profits during fourth quarter 2010 and for the year as a whole, but losses were lower than in 2009, according to financial results released by the drug maker Wednesday.

SAN DIEGO — Amylin Pharmaceuticals continued to experience losses in sales and profits during fourth quarter 2010 and for the year as a whole, but losses were lower than in 2009, according to financial results released by the drug maker Wednesday.

January 27, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has accepted a regulatory approval application for a pain drug that it previously had declined to approve.

CUPERTINO, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has accepted a regulatory approval application for a pain drug that it previously had declined to approve.

Durect announced Thursday that the FDA had accepted a resubmitted application by King Pharmaceuticals for Remoxy (oxycodone), a controlled-release painkiller designed to reduce the risks of misuse. King and Pain Therapeutics are developing the drug using Durect’s drug-delivery technology.

January 27, 2011

The safety of silicone breast implants has long been a subject of controversy, but a review by the Food and Drug Administration indicated another possible health risk.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The safety of silicone breast implants has long been a subject of controversy, but a review by the Food and Drug Administration indicated another possible health risk.

The FDA said Thursday that it had found a possible association between saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants and a rare cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, and that patients with implants may have a “very small but significant” risk of ALCL in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant.

January 27, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a regulatory approval application from British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline concerning a cancer drug, GSK said Wednesday.

LONDON — The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a regulatory approval application from British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline concerning a cancer drug, GSK said Wednesday.

GSK said the FDA issued a complete response letter for its application seeking approval for Avodart (dutasteride) to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men at increased risk of developing the disease. The drug already is approved to treat enlarged prostate.

January 27, 2011

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday postponed its plans to begin folding many of its recalled products, including several pediatric formulations, back onto retail shelves until later this fall.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday postponed its plans to begin folding many of its recalled products, including several pediatric formulations, back onto retail shelves until later this fall.

However, when those products are ready to occupy the brand blocks McNeil has carved out for Tylenol and others, J&J will be placing a significant emphasis on reacquainting those products with quality in the consumer’s mind.

January 27, 2011

A Mylan subsidiary has inked a nonexclusive license agreement with Tibotec Pharmaceuticals to manufacture, market and distribute a generic version of an HIV treatment.

PITTSBURGH — A Mylan subsidiary has inked a nonexclusive license agreement with Tibotec Pharmaceuticals to manufacture, market and distribute a generic version of an HIV treatment.

Pending the regulatory approval of TMC278 (rilpivirine hydrochloride), Matrix Labs will have the right to manufacture once-daily 25-mg TMC278 as a single-agent medicine and a fixed-dose combination product, Mylan said. Matrix also will be able to market the drug in sub-Saharan Africa, certain developing countries and India.

January 27, 2011

Australian winemaker Daryl Groom and Walgreens have launched a new table wine blend in line with American Heart Month.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Australian winemaker Daryl Groom and Walgreens have launched a new table wine blend in line with American Heart Month.

January 27, 2011

Swiss drug maker Novartis posted sales of $14.2 billion for fourth quarter 2010 and $50.6 billion for the year as a whole, according to an earnings report released Thursday.

BASEL, Switzerland — Swiss drug maker Novartis posted sales of $14.2 billion for fourth quarter 2010 and $50.6 billion for the year as a whole, according to an earnings report released Thursday.

That compared with sales of $12.9 billion and $44.3 billion during fourth quarter 2009 and 2009 as a whole, respectively. Profits for the year were nearly $10 billion, an 18% increase from $8.4 billion in 2009, though profits for the quarter decreased by 2%, from fourth quarter 2009’s $2.32 billion to $2.27 billion in fourth quarter 2010.

January 27, 2011

Rite Aid on Thursday morning posted a same-store sales increase of 1.1% for the four weeks ended Jan. 22, including a 2.2% lift across the front-end and growth of 0.6% in pharmacy comparable sales.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid on Thursday morning posted a same-store sales increase of 1.1% for the four weeks ended Jan. 22, including a 2.2% lift across the front-end and growth of 0.6% in pharmacy comparable sales.

Prescription count at comparable stores was flat compared with the prior-year period.

Total drug store sales were $1.9 billion, which is flat as compared with the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 69.1% of drug store sales, and third-party prescription revenue represented 93.3% of pharmacy sales.

January 27, 2011

Seniors of Hispanic descent are far less likely to become immunized against the flu or pneumonia, compared with white seniors, according to a new RAND study released earlier this week.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Seniors of Hispanic descent are far less likely to become immunized against the flu or pneumonia, compared with white seniors, according to a new RAND study released earlier this week.

Researchers found that Hispanic seniors who prefer speaking Spanish and live in such linguistically isolated communities as the Southeast are least likely to be immunized.

January 26, 2011

The American Diabetes Association on Tuesday released its year-in-review for 2010 regarding progress being made in the diabetes field.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Diabetes Association on Tuesday released its year-in-review for 2010 regarding progress being made in the diabetes field.

January 26, 2011

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Wednesday.

ATLANTA — Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to new estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Wednesday.

In addition, an estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

January 26, 2011

LiceGuard on Monday announced the launch of its Robi Comb product, a noninvasive electronic lice comb powered by a single AA battery that detects and destroys lice on contact simply by combing it through dry hair.

NEEDHAM, Mass. — LiceGuard on Monday announced the launch of its Robi Comb product, a noninvasive electronic lice comb powered by a single AA battery that detects and destroys lice on contact simply by combing it through dry hair.

When the Robi Comb's metal teeth touch lice, the lice get zapped, die and then get combed away, the company stated. The Robi Comb lets you know by an audible signal whether or not head lice are present, so it can be used to detect an infestation as well as to treat one.

January 26, 2011

Smoking before menopause, especially prior to giving birth, may be associated with a modest increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, according to a report in the Jan. 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

CHICAGO — Smoking before menopause, especially prior to giving birth, may be associated with a modest increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, according to a report in the Jan. 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

January 26, 2011

Generic drug makers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and APP Pharmaceuticals have launched their version of a chemotherapy drug, the two companies said Wednesday.

JERUSALEM — Generic drug makers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and APP Pharmaceuticals have launched their version of a chemotherapy drug, the two companies said Wednesday.

Teva and APP launched gemcitabine hydrochloride injfection in 200-mg and 1-g single-dose vials. The drug is a version of Eli Lilly’s Gemzar, which had sales of about $785 million in the United States in 2010, according to IMS Health. The drug is used to treat cancers of the lungs, pancreas, breasts and ovaries.

January 26, 2011

Watson Pharmaceuticals is seeking regulatory approval for a generic drug for high cholesterol.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals is seeking regulatory approval for a generic drug for high cholesterol.

Watson, through subsidiary Watson Labs, said it applied for approval of a generic version of Daiichi Sankyo’s and Genzyme’s Welchol (colesevelam hydrochloride). The drug, a powdered oral suspension, is used to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol in patients with primary hyperlipidemia, either alone or in combination with a statin.

January 25, 2011

Eisai will not seek regulatory approval for a drug to treat severe sepsis after getting lackluster results from a late-stage clinical trial, the drug maker said Tuesday.

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Eisai will not seek regulatory approval for a drug to treat severe sepsis after getting lackluster results from a late-stage clinical trial, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Eisai said a phase-3 trial of the drug eritoran found the drug did not significantly reduce mortality in patients with the condition compared with placebo.

Severe sepsis causes about 215,000 deaths in the United States every year, with a mortality rate of about 30%.

January 25, 2011

John Johnson is bidding Eli Lilly adieu.

INDIANAPOLIS — John Johnson is bidding Eli Lilly adieu.

Johnson, who served as SVP and president of the drug maker's oncology business — whose portfolio includes Alimta (pemetrexed) and Gemzar (gemcitabine hydrochloride) — resigned, effective Jan. 28. Johnson is taking on the chief executive role at specialty biopharmaceutical company Savient, effective Jan. 31. Savient is best known for its chronic gout treatment Krystexxa (pegloticase), which received regulatory approval in September 2010.

January 25, 2011

Parlaying off of the success of energy shots, iChill Beverages hopes to offer a relaxation alternative with the iChill relaxation shot, introduced last week at the ECRM Vitamin, Diet and Sports Nutrition conference.

SAN ANTONIO — Parlaying off of the success of energy shots, iChill Beverages hopes to offer a relaxation alternative with the iChill relaxation shot, introduced last week here at the ECRM Vitamin, Diet and Sports Nutrition conference.

The shot contains such ingredients as melatonin and valerian root to help people with high stress or those who have trouble sleeping to relax. The shot currently is available in several convenience store retailers, including 7-Eleven stores, and retails for a suggested price of $2.99.

January 25, 2011

Generic drug maker Mylan has entered settlements with Pfizer concerning two drugs for treating cholesterol.

PITTSBURGH — Generic drug maker Mylan has entered settlements with Pfizer concerning two drugs for treating cholesterol.

Mylan announced Tuesday that it had settled patent litigation suits with Pfizer concerning Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) and Caduet (atorvastatin calcium and amlodipine besylate).

Under the Caduet agreement, the lawsuit will be dismissed, and Mylan can launch its generic version on Nov. 30. Terms of the Lipitor agreement remain confidential.

January 25, 2011

Maneuvering to set forth a firm policy position in advance of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores again urged Congress Tuesday to “look to pharmacy as a solution in improving patient health and curbing healthcare costs.”

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Maneuvering to set forth a firm policy position in advance of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores again urged Congress Tuesday to “look to pharmacy as a solution in improving patient health and curbing healthcare costs.”

January 25, 2011

Nordic Naturals on Tuesday introduced its new Daily Omega brand, a line of three omega-3 products.

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Nordic Naturals on Tuesday introduced its new Daily Omega brand, a line of three omega-3 products.

"Consumers have a large variety of products to choose from when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, and this can be quite confusing,” stated Corinna Bellizzi, retail division sales manager for Nordic. “Daily Omega makes this choice easy by offering three concentrated formulas — two for adults and one for children — where only one soft gel is required daily to support optimal health and wellness."

January 25, 2011

Pittsburgh and Green Bay, Wis., retailers ought to have plenty of sore throat remedies in preparation for the Super Bowl — 28% of sore throat sufferers got that pain by cheering and screaming, according to a new study released Tuesday by Prestige Brands.

IRVINGTON, N.Y. — Pittsburgh and Green Bay, Wis., retailers ought to have plenty of sore throat remedies in preparation for the Super Bowl — 28% of sore throat sufferers got that pain by cheering and screaming, according to a new study released Tuesday by Prestige Brands.