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June 25, 2013

Drug makers may be allowed to seek approval for a generic version of an eye drug made by Allergan based on lab tests rather than clinical trials, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Drug makers may be allowed to seek approval for a generic version of an eye drug made by Allergan based on lab tests rather than clinical trials, according to published reports.

In a draft guidance released Friday, the FDA said that due to the efficacy profile of Allergan's drug for dry eyes Restasis (cyclosporine) ophthalmic emulsion, it wouldn't be effective for companies to conduct clinical trials to determine the efficacy of a generic version.

June 25, 2013

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for an experimental treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, the drug maker said.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for an experimental treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, the drug maker said.

Takeda announced that it had submitted a biologics license application to the FDA for vedolizumab in patients with severe Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD is estimated to affect more than 4 million people worldwide, and ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease affect as many as 700,000 Americans each, according to Takeda.

June 24, 2013

Mylan Specialty has appointed Roger Graham as president, the Mylan subsidiary said Monday.

PITTSBURGH — Mylan Specialty has appointed Roger Graham as president, the Mylan subsidiary said Monday.

Graham previously worked for Advandx, a privately owned company that develops in-vitro diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and will report to Mylan North America president Tony Mauro. Mylan Specialty markets the EpiPen auto-injector for emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions, among other products.

June 24, 2013

A White House trade policy leader has been appointed as U.S. Trade Representative.

WASHINGTON — A White House trade policy leader has been appointed as U.S. trade representative.

The Senate voted last week to approve Michael Froman to the position. Froman was previously an adviser to President Barack Obama on international economic affairs and replaces acting U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro.

June 24, 2013

Fresh off its third consecutive profitable quarter, Rite Aid has appointed Ken Martindale as president and COO, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Fresh off its third consecutive profitable quarter, Rite Aid has appointed Ken Martindale as president and COO, the retail pharmacy chain said Monday.

Martindale, who is currently SVP and COO, as well as president of the Rite Aid Foundation, will assume the new position effective immediately. John Standley will continue as chairman and CEO.

June 24, 2013

The country's largest organization representing retired and elderly people is pushing for education on healthcare reform among Hispanic communities.

WASHINGTON — The country's largest organization representing retired and elderly people is pushing for education on healthcare reform among Hispanic communities.

AARP said Monday that it would start a new effort focused on increasing education among Hispanic communities on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to prepare families for the opening of health exchanges this fall, collaborating with groups like the National Council of La Raza, the Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens and Esperanza.

June 24, 2013

The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board has published a handbook containing information about applying for and maintaining specialty pharmacist credentials.

TAMPA, Fla. — The Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board has published a handbook containing information about applying for and maintaining specialty pharmacist credentials.

The SPCB announced Monday the release of the Certified Specialty Pharmacist Candidate Handbook, which includes information on eligibility requirements, examination content outlines, testing information, code of conduct, recertification requirements and fees.

June 24, 2013

Generic drug makers cannot be held liable if patients suffer harmful side effects after taking their drugs, the Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision.

WASHINGTON — Generic drug makers cannot be held liable if patients suffer harmful side effects after taking their drugs, the Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision.

June 24, 2013

Target has donated money for relief amid floods in western Canada that have displaced more than 100,000 people and resulted in three deaths.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Target has donated money for relief amid floods in western Canada that have displaced more than 100,000 people and resulted in three deaths.

June 21, 2013

Becton, Dickinson and Co. has launched a needle that it said would make insulin injections easier and faster for people with diabetes.

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Becton, Dickinson and Co. has launched a needle that it said would make insulin injections easier and faster for people with diabetes.

BD subsidiary BD Medical announced Friday the BD Ultra-Fine Nano 4-millimeter pen needle. The needle includes technology called EasyFlow, designed to aid faster and more comfortable injections, and product demonstrations will take place at the American Diabetes Association's 73rd annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, lasting through next Tuesday.

June 21, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a contraceptive pill for all women of childbearing potential without a prescription, the agency said.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a contraceptive pill for all women of childbearing potential without a prescription, the agency said.

The FDA said the new approval of Teva Women's Health's Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) was to comply with an April 5 federal court order to make emergency contraceptives containing levonorgestrel available over the counter without age or point-of-sale restrictions.

June 21, 2013

A bill passed by the New York state legislature will require baby boomers visiting healthcare providers to be offered a hepatitis C screening.

ALBANY, N.Y. — A bill passed by the New York state legislature will require baby boomers visiting healthcare providers to be offered a hepatitis C screening.

The bill, S2750A/A1286, sponsored by Republican state Senate Health Committee chairman Kemp Hannon, was backed by AARP and requires those born between 1945 and 1965 to be offered a screening test. Many baby boomers across the state have hepatitis C without knowing it, and an estimated 200,000 New Yorkers are living with the disease, according to the organization.

June 21, 2013

Rite Aid has completed an effort to refinance half a billion dollars in debt, the retail pharmacy chain said Friday, fresh off its announcement the day before of its third consecutive profitable quarter.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has completed an effort to refinance half a billion dollars in debt, the retail pharmacy chain said Friday, fresh off its announcement the day before of its third consecutive profitable quarter.

Rite Aid said it completed a portion of transactions to extend the maturity of part of its outstanding indebtedness, which it said would lower interest expenses. The company has about $6 billion in debt, according to its fiscal year 2013 annual report.

June 21, 2013

A survey commissioned by Target Corp. recently found that nearly one-quarter of Canadians in some parts of the country don't have first aid kits at home, and more than half don't have one in their car.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — A survey commissioned by Target Corp. recently found that nearly one-quarter of Canadians in some parts of the country don't have first aid kits at home, and more than half don't have one in their car.

The survey, conducted by Leger Marking, found 22% of western Canadians don't have a kit at home, and 60% lack one in their car, while 58% of people without first aid kits think they have first aid essentials in various locations around the house.

June 20, 2013

A bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives would delay competitive bidding under Medicare for medical equipment until some issues are resolved.

NEW YORK — A bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives would delay competitive bidding under Medicare for medical equipment until some issues are resolved.

June 20, 2013

Pharmaceutical wholesaler H.D. Smith will buy a majority interest in a Cincinnati-based patient assistance, pharmaceutical brand support and reimbursement company.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Pharmaceutical wholesaler H.D. Smith will buy a majority interest in a Cincinnati-based patient assistance, pharmaceutical brand support and reimbursement company.

The wholesaler said Thursday that it had originally acquired majority board representation in Triplefin and would secure majority stock ownership in it. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

June 20, 2013

Under a new law, pharmacists in Indiana will be able to provide an expanded range of immunizations that includes human papillomavirus.

NEW YORK — Under a new law, pharmacists in Indiana will be able to provide an expanded range of immunizations that includes human papillomavirus.

June 20, 2013

Kroger posted sales of $30 billion and profits of $481 million in first quarter 2013 as it slowly grew its online business and foresaw increased investment in new markets and increased square footage in its stores.

CINCINNATI — Kroger posted sales of $30 billion and profits of $481 million in first quarter 2013 as it slowly grew its online business and foresaw increased investment in new markets and increased square footage in its stores.

The results reported Thursday compared with first quarter 2012 sales of $29.1 billion and profits of $439 million. Earnings-per-share guidance for fiscal year 2013 was increased from $2.73 to $2.80.

June 20, 2013

A maker of bathing products for pets has expanded its line to Target stores around the country.

SAN DIEGO — A maker of bathing products for pets has expanded its line to Target stores around the country.

Organic Oscar said its line of pet shampoo had hit Target's shelves this month, marking its biggest expansion since the company's official launch in 2011. The company was founded in 2007. The shampoo, which is natural and biodegradable, is available for $9.99 per bottle.

June 20, 2013

Rite Aid posted its third consecutive profitable quarter Thursday morning as it launched the largest extension to date to its loyalty card program and continued growing the latest iteration of its new store format.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid posted its third consecutive profitable quarter Thursday morning as it launched the largest extension to date to its loyalty card program and continued growing the latest iteration of its new store format.

June 20, 2013

Tris Pharma has hired a former buyer from AmerisourceBergen to head its generic drug business, the company said.

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. — Tris Pharma has hired a former buyer from AmerisourceBergen to head its generic drug business, the company said.

Tris announced the appointment of Janet Penner as president of the new generic pharmaceuticals business, which will have its own sales, marketing and distribution and will be responsible for bringing drugs to market. So far, the Food and Drug Administration has approved 13 of Tris' generics, including several first-to-market products.

June 19, 2013

The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, which could affect how healthcare professionals approach the issue, the group said at its annual meeting in Chicago.

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, which could affect how healthcare professionals approach the issue, the group said at its annual meeting in Chicago.

The new policy was one of several adopted in a day of voting at the meeting, and the group said it would now recognize obesity as a disease requiring treatment and prevention.

June 19, 2013

More responsible use of drugs could save the U.S. healthcare system more than $200 billion per year, according to a new study by the research arm of IMS Health.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — More responsible use of drugs could save the U.S. healthcare system more than $200 billion per year, according to a new study by the research arm of IMS Health.

June 19, 2013

A large majority of Americans are taking prescription drugs, according to a new study by the Mayo Clinic.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A large majority of Americans are taking prescription drugs, according to a new study by the Mayo Clinic.

The study, published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that nearly 70% of Americans are taking at least one drug, and more than half are taking two. Most of the drugs are antibiotics, antidepressants and opioid painkillers. Researchers said the data, which came from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, would be valuable because it would give insight into prescribing practices.

June 19, 2013

Rite Aid is offering to buy back $810 million worth of debt while increasing the amount of a new bond sale announced Tuesday, the retail pharmacy chain said.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is offering to buy back $810 million worth of debt while increasing the amount of a new bond sale announced Tuesday, the retail pharmacy chain said.

Rite Aid said it would buy back all of its $810 million worth of 9.5% senior notes due 2017. The company also said it would increase the $400 million offering of 6.75% senior notes due 2021 by another $410 million, for a total of $810 million, as part of a debt-refinancing plan.