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July 24, 2013

Prior-authorization software company CoverMyMeds reached a milestone Tuesday as the 5 millionth PA request was sent through its system.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Prior-authorization software company CoverMyMeds reached a milestone Tuesday as the 5 millionth PA request was sent through its system.

CoverMyMeds said the announcement came a day after the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs published the first e-prescribing standard to include the electronic PA implementation guide. CoverMyMeds has worked with the industry to develop the standard and said it was the first provider software vendor to use the standard at scale.

July 24, 2013

Ahold USA division Giant Food Stores has raised $540,888 for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the chain said Wednesday.

CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold USA division Giant Food Stores has raised $540,888 for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the chain said Wednesday.

Giant-Carlisle, which also includes Martin's Food Markets, allowed customers to donate $1 to purchase paper balloons. The chain has been supporting CMN Hospitals for 17 years and recently passed the $30 million fundraising mark.

The money from the campaign will be donated to children's hospitals in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Va., and the Pennsylvania cities of Harrisburg, Danville and Altoona.

July 24, 2013

Canadian regulators have approved two drugs made by GlaxoSmithKline for treating skin cancer.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canadian regulators have approved two drugs made by GlaxoSmithKline for treating skin cancer, GSK said Wednesday.

The drug maker announced Health Canada's approval of Tafinlar (dabrafenib mesylate) and Mekinist (trametinib) in patients with melanoma that can't be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body.

July 24, 2013

Despite having its headquarters and a significant presence in Michigan, mass-merchandise retailer Meijer hasn't opened any stores in the state's largest city, but that will change Thursday.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Despite having its headquarters and a significant presence in Michigan, mass-merchandise retailer Meijer hasn't opened any stores in the state's largest city, but that will change Thursday.

Meijer will open its first city in Detroit at the Gateway Marketplace shopping center. The 190,000-square-foot store, at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds, will include a pharmacy with walk-in health screenings, immunizations, pharmacists trained in diabetes and a drive-through, as well as produce and other merchandise.

July 24, 2013

An increase in tobacco taxes in Minnesota has nearly tripled enrollment in a health plan's smoking-cessation program.

EAGAN, Minn. — An increase in tobacco taxes in Minnesota has nearly tripled enrollment in a health plan's smoking-cessation program.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota said enrollment in its Stop Smoking Support program had nearly tripled since a $1.60 increase in the state tobacco tax took effect at the beginning of this month. The program enrolled 186 people in the first two weeks of July, compared with 69 people in the first two weeks of July 2012.

July 24, 2013

Mylan has settled with the makers of a drug used to treat cancer in a patent-infringement lawsuit, the generic drug maker said.

PITTSBURGH — Mylan has settled with the makers of a drug used to treat cancer in a patent-infringement lawsuit, the generic drug maker said Wednesday.

Mylan said it had entered an agreement with Pfizer, Genentech and OSI that would allow their suit against Mylan over the drug Tarceva (erlotinib) to be dismissed. All other terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential, and the agreement is subject to Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission review, Mylan said.

July 24, 2013

Despite widespread doubt and dissatisfaction, most adults say they're not ready to repeal the healthcare-reform law signed into law two years ago by President Obama, according to a poll.

NEW YORK — Despite widespread doubt and dissatisfaction, most adults say they're not ready to repeal the healthcare-reform law signed into law two years ago by President Obama, according to a poll.

The latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, reported in the National Journal, found that most respondents preferred to spend more money on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, or determine later if it requires changes.

July 24, 2013

The editor-in-chief of a website directed at the Latino community has launched a newsletter and website focused on health and wellness.

LOS ANGELES — The editor-in-chief of a website directed at the Latino community has launched a newsletter and website focused on health and wellness.

Aliza Lifshitz, editor of VidaySalud.com and often known by the nickname La Doctora Aliza, announced the launch of Latina Health Letter. The new site will cover various aspects of health in English from a Latina perspective, with sections dedicated to women's health, diet, nutrition, exercise, sexual health, diabetes and others.

July 23, 2013

A federal court has ruled that a Mylan lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline over an antidepressant drug can go to trial.

PITTSBURGH — A federal court has ruled that a Mylan lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline over an antidepressant drug can go to trial, Mylan said Tuesday.

Mylan alleges that GlaxoSmithKline breached a contract the two companies had made when it agreed to supply competing drug maker Apotex with paroxetine hydrochloride extended-release tablets, a generic version of Paxil CR. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling reversed a summary judgment dismissing Mylan's claim.

July 23, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration is inviting comments from the public as it looks into restricting or even banning menthol in cigarettes, the agency said Tuesday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is inviting comments from the public as it looks into restricting or even banning menthol in cigarettes, the agency said Tuesday.

The FDA said it had issued an advance notice of proposed rule making, or ANPRM, to obtain information related to potential regulations it might consider. The agency said about 30% of adult smokers and more than 40% of youth smokers report smoking menthol cigarettes.

July 23, 2013

François Coutu has resigned from Rite Aid's board, effective Oct. 31, 2013, Rite Aid said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

NEW YORK — François Coutu has resigned from Rite Aid's board, effective Oct. 31, 2013, Rite Aid said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

July 23, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic diabetes drug made by Lupin, the company said.

MUMBAI, India — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic diabetes drug made by Lupin, the company said.

Lupin, based in India, received approval for metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the 500-mg and 1,000-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Santarus' Glumetza.

Glumetza had sales of about $144 million during the 12-month period that ended in March, according to IMS Health. The drug is an extended-release formulation of metformin hydrochloride, a widely prescribed drug used for treating Type 2 diabetes.

 

July 23, 2013

The Pharmacy Quality Alliance is supporting medication synchronization programs and pilots at pharmacies around the country using an appointment-based model, saying the model focuses on aligning drug refills of chronic medications to fall upon the same appointment date each month, the group said Tuesday.

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The Pharmacy Quality Alliance is supporting medication synchronization programs and pilots at pharmacies around the country using an appointment-based model, saying the model focuses on aligning drug refills of chronic medications to fall upon the same appointment date each month, the group said Tuesday.

July 22, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Japanese drug maker Astellas for preventing the body from rejecting transplanted organs, the company said.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Japanese drug maker Astellas for preventing the body from rejecting transplanted organs, the company said.

Astellas announced through a U.S. subsidiary that the FDA had approved Astagraf XLTM (tacrolimus) extended-release capsules for preventing rejection of transplanted kidneys, for use with Genentech's CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) and corticosteroids, with or without Simulect (basiliximab), a biotech drug made by Swiss drug maker Novartis.

July 22, 2013

Kmart has raised more than $7.6 million this year for the March of Dimes, the mass merchandise retailer said in marking the 30th year of its funding commitment to the organization.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Kmart has raised more than $7.6 million this year for the March of Dimes, the mass merchandise retailer said in marking the 30th year of its funding commitment to the organization.

The retailer, owned by Sears Holdings, said it has raised almost $114 million in total for the infant health-focused group and is its largest corporate sponsor.

July 22, 2013

A new bill would exempt user fees paid by drug companies to the Food and Drug Administration — including those of generic drug makers — from the automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect in March, commonly known as the sequester.

WASHINGTON — A new bill would exempt user fees paid by drug companies to the Food and Drug Administration — including those of generic drug makers — from the automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect in March, commonly known as the sequester.

The bill, the FDA Safety Over Sequestration Act, received sponsorship from Reps. Leonard Lance, R-N.J.; Anna Eshoo, D-Calif.; Doris Matsui, D-Calif.; and Mike Rogers, R-Mich. Generic drug industry trade group the Generic Pharmaceutical Association heralded the bill.

July 22, 2013

Decisions on whether to bring new generic drugs to market depend significantly on companies' ability to settle patent lawsuits filed by branded drug companies, according to a new white paper.

WASHINGTON — Decisions on whether to bring new generic drugs to market depend significantly on companies' ability to settle patent lawsuits filed by branded drug companies, according to a new white paper.

July 22, 2013

An announcement Monday by generic drug maker Sandoz gives a glimpse of what could happen in the United States when biosimilars start to become available.

HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany — An announcement Monday by generic drug maker Sandoz gives a glimpse of what could happen in the United States when biosimilars start to become available.

July 22, 2013

Sears is offering electronic coupons for back-to-school shopping that it's calling the first of their kind.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears is offering electronic coupons for back-to-school shopping that it's calling the first of their kind.

The retailer announced Monday that it was the first retailer to offer "eCoupons" that can be redeemed in the store, online and from a mobile device, personalized for members of the Shop Your Way loyalty program based on their interests, style preferences and shopping habits. Members can download the coupons at ShopYourWay.com or through the mobile app and receive rewards like 2% back in points when using their Sears MasterCard.

July 22, 2013

The philanthropic division of supermarket chain Stater Bros. has raised more than a quarter-million dollars for blood cancers.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The philanthropic division of supermarket chain Stater Bros. has raised more than a quarter-million dollars for blood cancers.

Stater Bros. Charities and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society said their "Light the Night" fundraising campaign raised $331,462. The campaign focuses on leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes.

The company sold paper balloons at its 166 stores last month for $1 each. The campaign is in its sixth year and has raised more than $1.8 million in total.

July 22, 2013

Drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has introduced acitretin capsules, the company said.

NORTH WALES, Pa. — Drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has introduced acitretin capsules, the company said.

Teva announced the availability of the capsules in the 10-mg, 17.5-mg and 25-mg strengths, in bottle sizes of 30.

The drug is a generic version of Soriatane and is used to treat psoriasis. Soriatane is made by Stiefel, a division of GlaxoSmithKline.

July 19, 2013

Boys whose mothers receive flu shots or Pap screenings are more likely to receive the human pappilomavirus vaccine, according to a new study.

PASADENA, Calif. — Boys whose mothers receive flu shots or Pap screenings are more likely to receive the human pappilomavirus vaccine, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and published in the American Journal of Public Health, was based on electronic health records of more than 250,000 boys aged 9 to 17 enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan.

July 19, 2013

For the second year in a row, online grocer Peapod is working with a Wisconsin farm to deliver organic and heirloom vegetables to customers in the Chicago area.

NEW YORK — For the second year in a row, online grocer Peapod is working with a Wisconsin farm to deliver organic and heirloom vegetables to customers in the Chicago area.

Peapod, owned by Ahold USA, said customers could order local farm boxes from Viroqua, Wis.-based Harvest Moon Farms and have them delivered to their homes or scheduled for pickup at nearby pickup locations in the Illinois towns of Deerfield, Palatine and Lincolnshire. Produce includes beans, beets, broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens and heirloom tomatoes.

July 19, 2013

Perrigo announced the tentative approval for repaglinide tablets, a generic version of Novo Nordisk's Prandin, used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

ALLEGAN, Mich. – The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic diabetes drug.

Perrigo Co. announced the tentative approval for repaglinide tablets, a generic version of Novo Nordisk's Prandin, used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

July 19, 2013

A drug-safety website operated by drug maker Purdue Pharma has won accolades from an international awards program for marketing and communications.

STAMFORD, Conn. – A drug-safety website operated by drug maker Purdue Pharma has won accolades from an international awards program for marketing and communications.