Content about Pharmacist Society

July 21, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for managing obesity made by Lannett.

PHILADELPHIA — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for managing obesity made by Lannett.

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

Phentermine hydrochloride capsules in the 37.5-mg strength had sales of about $8.8 million during the 12-month period ended in May, according to Wolters Kluwer.

July 21, 2011

Two of the country’s largest pharmacy benefit managers plan to merge in a deal worth $29.1 billion.

ST. LOUIS — Two of the country’s largest pharmacy benefit managers plan to merge in a deal worth $29.1 billion.

St. Louis-based Express Scripts and Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Medco Health Solutions announced Thursday that their boards had voted unanimously to approve the merger, though the deal still is subject to regulatory review. The deal would create the country’s largest PBM, followed by CVS Caremark.

July 21, 2011

The merger agreement between Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts announced Thursday has drawn objections from retail pharmacy trade groups.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The merger agreement between Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts announced Thursday has drawn objections from retail pharmacy trade groups.

In a joint statement on Thursday, National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey and National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said Express Scripts’ $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco would “exacerbate [pharmacy benefit managers’] detrimental effect on pharmacy patient care.”

July 21, 2011

Schiff Nutrition announced that Richard Carmona, who served at the 17th U.S. surgeon general, has been elected to serve as the company's scientific advisory board chairman.

SALT LAKE CITY — Schiff Nutrition announced that Richard Carmona, who served at the 17th U.S. surgeon general, has been elected to serve as the company's scientific advisory board chairman.

July 21, 2011

Canadian retailer Shoppers Drug Mart posted a boost in second-quarter sales, thanks in large part to continued strength and sales growth in over-the-counter medications, cosmetics, and food and confection, the company announced on Thursday.

TORONTO — Canadian retailer Shoppers Drug Mart posted a boost in second-quarter sales, thanks in large part to continued strength and sales growth in over-the-counter medications, cosmetics, and food and confection, the company announced on Thursday.

Second-quarter sales were C$2.39 billion (U.S. $2.52 billion), an increase of 1.4%, compared with the year-ago period. On a same-store basis, total sales increased 0.8% during the quarter.

July 21, 2011

Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has revamped its website to now provide patients with online access to estimated clinic wait times, clinical quality scores and cost of services at Take Care Clinics across the country.

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has revamped its website to now provide patients with online access to estimated clinic wait times, clinical quality scores and cost of services at Take Care Clinics across the country.

July 20, 2011

Cardinal Health on Wednesday morning announced that the wholesaler’s annual national trade show for independent pharmacies marks the largest in the event’s more than 20-year history, with nearly 7,000 attendees.

LAS VEGAS — Cardinal Health on Wednesday morning announced that the wholesaler’s annual national trade show for independent pharmacies marks the largest in the event’s more than 20-year history, with nearly 7,000 attendees.

July 20, 2011

A visit to the dentist may offer a chance to catch prediabetes or diabetes in patients unaware that they have it, according to a new study.

NEW YORK — A visit to the dentist may offer a chance to catch prediabetes or diabetes in patients unaware that they have it, according to a new study.

Researchers at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine found that patients seeing a dentist could be identified as showing symptoms of the conditions, such as periodontal disease.

July 20, 2011

A Food and Drug Administration committee of experts has advised against approving a drug for Type 2 diabetes made by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the companies said Tuesday.

WILMINGTON, Del. — A Food and Drug Administration committee of experts has advised against approving a drug for Type 2 diabetes made by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the companies said Tuesday.

The FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9-6 against recommending approval for dapagliflozin, saying that data from a two-year clinical trial program that included about 6,000 people did not support the drug’s approval for use in patients along with changes to diet and exercise.

July 20, 2011

A new study published in the July 19 online edition of BMJ found that heart disease patients that opt out of taking low-dose aspirin daily put themselves at a higher risk for heart attack.

NEW YORK — A new study published in the July 19 online edition of BMJ found that heart disease patients that opt out of taking low-dose aspirin daily put themselves at a higher risk for heart attack.

July 20, 2011

Hamacher Resource Group will be hosting a series of continuing education presentations at AmerisourceBergen’s National Healthcare Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas from July 22 to 23.

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Hamacher Resource Group will be hosting a series of continuing education presentations at AmerisourceBergen’s National Healthcare Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas from July 22 to 23.

Dave Wendland and Tom Boyer, both part of the owners group at HRG, will present four different educational sessions.

July 20, 2011

Hi-Tech Pharmacal has introduced levofloxacin oral solution in the 25-mg/mL strength, the drug maker said Tuesday.

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. — Hi-Tech Pharmacal has introduced levofloxacin oral solution in the 25-mg/mL strength, the drug maker said Tuesday.

The drug will be available in 480-mL, 200-mL and 100-mL sizes in order to allow pharmacists to tailor inventory to store volume. Hi-Tech was granted tentative approval in April.

The drug is a generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s pneumonia treament Levaquin.

July 20, 2011

Pharmacy automation equipment manufacturer Innovation will unveil a new device for automating the counting and processing of medications at two pharmacy trade shows this summer, the company said Tuesday.

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Pharmacy automation equipment manufacturer Innovation will unveil a new device for automating the counting and processing of medications at two pharmacy trade shows this summer, the company said Tuesday.

July 20, 2011

Max-Wellness on Wednesday announced its new hospital retail concept within Lake Health’s West Medical Center will open for business on July 25.

CLEVELAND — Max-Wellness on Wednesday announced its new hospital retail concept within Lake Health’s West Medical Center will open for business on July 25.

The first hospital-based Max-Wellness will provide health-and-wellness products needed to further a patient’s recovery after leaving the hospital, as well as serve hospital visitors and staff.

July 20, 2011

Purdue Pharma has launched a new website designed to combat abuse of prescription drugs, the company said Wednesday.

STAMFORD, Conn. — Purdue Pharma has launched a new website designed to combat abuse of prescription drugs, the company said Wednesday.

The website, RxSafetyMatters.org, is designed to help healthcare professionals, police and community organizations combat prescription drug diversion and abuse. Purdue is the developer of OxyContin (oxycodone), an extended-release painkiller that is frequently a target of drug abusers.

July 20, 2011

Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has signed an agreement with Sanofi’s subsidiary in Canada to distribute a topical medication for osteoarthritis in the country.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has signed an agreement with Sanofi’s subsidiary in Canada to distribute a topical medication for osteoarthritis in the country.

Valeant said Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with Sanofi-Aventis Canada for Canadian marketing and distribution rights to Zuacta (zucapsaicin), designed for treating osteoarthritis of the knee.

July 20, 2011

Walgreens on Wednesday directly appealed to benefit consultants with a letter apprising them of the chain’s withdrawal from Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network, effective Jan. 1, 2012, and educating those consultants of the healthcare value that Walgreens still can deliver without Express Scripts.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday directly appealed to benefit consultants with a letter apprising them of the chain’s withdrawal from Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network, effective Jan. 1, 2012, and educating those consultants of the healthcare value that Walgreens still can deliver without Express Scripts.

July 19, 2011

New bipartisan legislation introduced to the Senate last week seeks to offer states incentives to use generic drugs by allowing states to temporarily keep a portion of the savings.

WASHINGTON — New bipartisan legislation introduced to the Senate last week seeks to offer states incentives to use generic drugs by allowing states to temporarily keep a portion of the savings.

Senators Scott Brown, R-Mass.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; and John McCain, R-Ariz., introduced the Affordable Medicines Utilization Act of 2011, saying that the bill would encourage states to take advantage of cost-saving generic drugs.

July 19, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration will sponsor a chat session via Twitter concerning proposed guidelines for health-related apps, the agency said Tuesday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration will sponsor a chat session via Twitter concerning proposed guidelines for health-related apps, the agency said Tuesday.

The chat session will begin at 3 p.m. on Twitter.com/US_FDA.

July 19, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Graceway Pharmaceuticals for actinic keratoses, Graceway said.

BRISTOL, Tenn. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Graceway Pharmaceuticals for actinic keratoses, Graceway said.

The agency approved Zyclara (imiquimod) cream in the 2.5% strength for AK, a precancerous lesion that affects about 10 million Americans and can develop into skin cancer later on.

July 19, 2011

Patients taking an investigative antidepressant undergoing late-stage clinical development showed “significant” improvement, according to study results released Monday.

NEW YORK — Patients taking an investigative antidepressant undergoing late-stage clinical development showed “significant” improvement, according to study results released Monday.

Forest Labs and Pierre Fabre Medicament announced results of a phase-3 trial of levomilnacipran in adults with major depressive disorder. Results showed a statistically significant improvement in patients treated with the drug, compared with those taking placebo.

July 19, 2011

Mylan subsidiary Matrix Labs has expanded its licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences.

PITTSBURGH — Mylan subsidiary Matrix Labs has expanded its licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences.

Under the new terms, Mylan said that Matrix has the rights to produce and market generic versions of three Gilead HIV/AIDS therapies — elvitegravir, an investigational integrase inhibitor; cobicistat, an investigational antiretroviral boosting agent; and the “quad,” a once-daily, single-tablet combination of four separate Gilead medicines — if and when the drugs receive regulatory approval.

July 19, 2011

A new report published in the June issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found that diabetes patients can benefit from multipayer patient-centered medical homes.

NEW YORK — A new report published in the June issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found that diabetes patients can benefit from multipayer patient-centered medical homes.

July 19, 2011

A new probiotic formula that features added vitamins has entered the market.

MONTREAL — A new probiotic formula that features added vitamins has entered the market.

ProbioKid Vita+, developed by Institut Rosell-Lallemand, combines a synbiotic formula of probiotic strains — Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52, Bifidobacterium bifidum Rosell-71 and Bifidobacterium infantis Rosell-33 — and a prebiotic (fructooligosaccharide, or FOS) with vitamins C and D. The product is designed to boost kids' immunity in the winter, the company said.

ProbioKid Vita+ recently was unveiled at the Vitafoods Europe trade show in Geneva.

July 19, 2011

Ranbaxy will produce and market three HIV/AIDS drugs that currently are in late-stage clinical development by Gilead under a new licensing agreement between the drug makers.

GURGAON, India — Ranbaxy will produce and market three HIV/AIDS drugs that currently are in late-stage clinical development by Gilead under a new licensing agreement between the drug makers.