Content about Medicine

December 17, 2010

Patent settlements between branded and generic drug companies, sometimes called “pay-for-delay” deals, aren’t going away any time soon.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Patent settlements between branded and generic drug companies, sometimes called “pay-for-delay” deals, aren’t going away any time soon.

(THE NEWS: Report: Banning 'pay for delay' settlements likely won't happen. For the full story, click here)

December 17, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new oral contraceptive developed by Bayer.

WAYNE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new oral contraceptive developed by Bayer.

Safyral is a combination of Yasmin, also developed by Bayer, with 451 mcg levomefolate calcium, which is a B vitamin known as a folate. It is the second oral contraceptive from Bayer that features folate.

December 17, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration has turned down AstraZeneca’s regulatory approval application for a drug to treat heart disease, the drug maker said.

WILMINGTON, Del. — The Food and Drug Administration has turned down AstraZeneca’s regulatory approval application for a drug to treat heart disease, the drug maker said.

The agency sent AstraZeneca a complete response letter requesting additional analyses of data from a clinical study of Brilinta (ticagrelor), but did not request additional studies. The drug is designed to treat acute coronary syndromes.

A complete response letter means that the FDA has completed its review of a drug application, but issues remain that preclude final approval.

December 17, 2010

More than 6% of women who gave birth in hospitals in the United States in 2008 had diabetes or developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, according to a new analysis by the federal government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

WASHINGTON — More than 6% of women who gave birth in hospitals in the United States in 2008 had diabetes or developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy, according to a new analysis by the federal government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

December 17, 2010

Prestige Brands Holdings on Thursday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets associated with the Dramamine business in the United States from McNeil Consumer Healthcare for $76 million in cash.

IRVINGTON, N.Y. — Prestige Brands Holdings on Thursday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets associated with the Dramamine business in the United States from McNeil Consumer Healthcare for $76 million in cash.

“The company expects to quickly and smoothly integrate Dramamine into the Prestige portfolio and drive growth through enhanced brand support,” stated Matthew Mannelly, Prestige Brands CEO.

December 17, 2010

Many older Americans prescribed antidepressants may be taking medication that could adversely interact with the antidepressant, a new study found.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Many older Americans prescribed antidepressants may be taking medication that could adversely interact with the antidepressant, a new study found.

December 17, 2010

In a major alliance to foster preventive health in the United States, Walgreens has partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide free flu vaccinations to as many as 350,000 low-income and uninsured Americans.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In a major alliance to foster preventive health in the United States, Walgreens has partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide free flu vaccinations to as many as 350,000 low-income and uninsured Americans.

Walgreens will provide more than $10 million worth of vouchers for free flu shots, which HHS will help distribute.

December 16, 2010

An investigational treatment for irritable bowel syndrome could become a blockbuster by the end of the decade, according to a report by Decision Resources.

BURLINGTON, Mass. — An investigational treatment for irritable bowel syndrome could become a blockbuster by the end of the decade, according to a report by Decision Resources.

The report, which the healthcare market research firm said it would publish later this month, found that linaclotide — made by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Forest Labs, Almirall and Astellas Pharma — would emerge as the market leader for IBS and achieve sales of $1.1 billion in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan by 2019.

December 16, 2010

Just a few months after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended limiting the use of a Genentech drug designed to treat breast cancer, the regulatory agency is looking to revoke the approval altogether.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Just a few months after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended limiting the use of a Genentech drug designed to treat breast cancer, the regulatory agency is looking to revoke the approval altogether.

December 16, 2010

The education, research and charitable affiliate of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced its contribution of $1.5 million in grants to expand the availability of Community Pharmacy Residency Programs for pharmacy graduates.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The education, research and charitable affiliate of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced its contribution of $1.5 million in grants to expand the availability of Community Pharmacy Residency Programs for pharmacy graduates.

CPRPs allow pharmacy residents to focus on providing direct patient care, developing patient care services with pharmacist preceptor oversight, the NACDS Foundation said. The NACDS Foundation seeks to jumpstart 30 new community pharmacy residencies nationwide — a 25% increase in total residency positions.

December 16, 2010

Americans won’t take off work for something as innocuous as a cold, a new survey released Wednesday found, a fact that underscores the need for ready access to over-the-counter cough-cold medicines and better hand-washing/sanitizing practices in the workplace.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Americans won’t take off work for something as innocuous as a cold, a new survey released Wednesday found, a fact that underscores the need for ready access to over-the-counter cough-cold medicines and better hand-washing/sanitizing practices in the workplace.

The survey, sponsored by Cadbury Adams’ Halls cough drop brand, found that 44% of Americans would consider going to work with a fever, and 32% said they would show up to work no matter how sick they get this season.

December 16, 2010

A subsidiary of Watson Pharmaceuticals has entered a licensing agreement with a subsidiary of Hungarian drug maker Richter to develop and market a drug for uterine fibroids, the two companies said Thursday.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A subsidiary of Watson Pharmaceuticals has entered a licensing agreement with a subsidiary of Hungarian drug maker Richter to develop and market a drug for uterine fibroids, the two companies said Thursday.

Watson Labs and PregLem said European studies had shown Esmya (ulipristal acetate) to be a safe and effective treatment for the disease, a benign tumor condition that affects between one-fifth and one-fourth of women of reproductive age worldwide. Watson expected to start phase-3 studies of the drug in the United States in 2011.

December 15, 2010

A recent scientific study showed that incorporating almonds into a person’s diet can help treat and possibly prevent Type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease, the Almond Board of California announced Wednesday.

MODESTO, Calif. — A recent scientific study showed that incorporating almonds into a person’s diet can help treat and possibly prevent Type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease, the Almond Board of California announced Wednesday.

The study, published in the June 2010 Journal of the American College of Nutrition illustrated that consuming a diet rich in almonds may help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with pre-diabetes.

December 15, 2010

Tens of millions of Americans have bought medications online without a prescription, according to a new study.

WASHINGTON — Tens of millions of Americans have bought medications online without a prescription, according to a new study.

According to research funded by the Alliance for Save Online Pharmacies and released by The Partnership at DrugFree.org, illegal online pharmacies have sold drugs to 36 million Americans.

December 15, 2010

A prescription cough suppressant should be kept in childproof containers because of its candy-like appearance, the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A prescription cough suppressant should be kept in childproof containers because of its candy-like appearance, the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday.

Tessalon (benzonatate) is made by Forest Labs and comes in the form of a round, liquid-filled gelatin capsule. The drug is used to relieve cough in patients older than 10 years of age.

December 15, 2010

The Cardinal Health Foundation has strengthened its alliance with the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy to address prescription drug abuse among teens.

DUBLIN, Ohio — The Cardinal Health Foundation has strengthened its alliance with the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy to address prescription drug abuse among teens.

The Cardinal Health Foundation and the college's GenerationRx youth toolkit provides healthcare providers, pharmacists, parents, teachers, youth group leaders and other concerned citizens with unique, interactive resources to educate teens about the realities and dangers of prescription drug abuse, the Cardinal Health Foundation said.

December 15, 2010

Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee will offer 366 commonly prescribed generic prescription drugs for as little as $2 to select Medicare beneficiaries through a program offered in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, Hy-Vee said.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee will offer 366 commonly prescribed generic prescription drugs for as little as $2 to select Medicare beneficiaries through a program offered in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, Hy-Vee said.

December 15, 2010

Prestige Brands last month announced the introduction of Little Colds Honey Elixir, a nonmedicated treatment for cough and sore throat, as the newest addition to the Little Remedies line.

IRVINGTON, N.Y. — Prestige Brands last month announced the introduction of Little Colds Honey Elixir, a nonmedicated treatment for cough and sore throat, as the newest addition to the Little Remedies line.

“The incidence of cough is already higher this year than last [year] among children [under 5 years of age], according to the Fan Flu data reports in November,” stated Jean Boyko, SVP science and technology at Prestige.

December 15, 2010

The dietary supplement industry’s leading trade associations on Wednesday joined forces with the Food and Drug Administration to support heightened efforts to address public health problems posed by products that are illegally marketed as dietary supplements but contain the same active ingredients as FDA-approved drugs or other ingredients that do not qualify as dietary ingredients.

WASHINGTON — The dietary supplement industry’s leading trade associations on Wednesday joined forces with the Food and Drug Administration to support heightened efforts to address public health problems posed by products that are illegally marketed as dietary supplements but contain the same active ingredients as FDA-approved drugs or other ingredients that do not qualify as dietary ingredients.

December 15, 2010

Palomar Medical Technologies, a researcher and developer of light-based systems for cosmetic treatments, has announced the launch of the first FDA-cleared, at-home laser designed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

BURLINGTON, Mass. — Palomar Medical Technologies, a researcher and developer of light-based systems for cosmetic treatments, has announced the launch of the first FDA-cleared, at-home laser designed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

December 15, 2010

Drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals said it has filed a regulatory approval application for a generic painkiller, challenging the patent that covers the branded version.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals said it has filed a regulatory approval application for a generic painkiller, challenging the patent that covers the branded version.

Watson announced Tuesday that it had filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration seeking approval for hydromorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the 8-mg, 12-mg and 16-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Mallinckrodt’s Exalgo.

December 14, 2010

Eli Lilly is suspending a late-stage clinical trial of a cancer drug amid safety concerns, the drug maker said Monday.

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly is suspending a late-stage clinical trial of a cancer drug amid safety concerns, the drug maker said Monday.

The company had been conducting a phase-3 trial of the pharmaceutical drug tasisulam as a second-line treatment for patients with melanoma whose cancer could not be removed or had spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is diagnosed in 68,000 people in the Untied States every year, according to the American Cancer Society.

December 14, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a revised dosage for a drug combination, which includes a Johnson & Johnson drug, in HIV patients who have received treatment but whose virus has not become immune to the J&J drug.

TITUSVILLE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a revised dosage for a drug combination, which includes a Johnson & Johnson drug, in HIV patients who have received treatment but whose virus has not become immune to the J&J drug.

December 14, 2010

As part of its ongoing efforts to stop “bogus” health claims, the Federal Trade Commission on Monday reached a settlement requiring NBTY to stop making false and unproven claims that their supplements promote healthy brain and eye development in children, the agency announced.

WASHINGTON — As part of its ongoing efforts to stop “bogus” health claims, the Federal Trade Commission on Monday reached a settlement requiring NBTY to stop making false and unproven claims that their supplements promote healthy brain and eye development in children, the agency announced.

NBTY has agreed to pay $2.1 million to provide refunds to consumers who purchased certain multivitamins in its Disney and Marvel Heroes line.

December 14, 2010

In a clear victory for retail pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have agreed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a motion to dismiss the Medicaid average manufacturer price lawsuit.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a clear victory for retail pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have agreed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a motion to dismiss the Medicaid average manufacturer price lawsuit. The landmark agreement came after CMS withdrew the last remaining provisions of the AMP rule that had been blocked by a preliminary injunction following litigation by NACDS and NCPA.