Content about Pharmacology

February 16, 2012

Walgreens and Greystone Healthcare Management on Thursday launched a collaborative therapy management pilot program at the Lady Lake Specialty Center in Lady Lake, Fla., aimed at enhancing medication adherence and reducing readmission rates for patients in post-acute care settings.

LADY LAKE, Fla. — Walgreens and Greystone Healthcare Management on Thursday launched a collaborative therapy management pilot program at the Lady Lake Specialty Center in Lady Lake, Fla., aimed at enhancing medication adherence and reducing readmission rates for patients in post-acute care settings.

February 15, 2012

Fake versions of a cancer drug made by Roche's U.S. unit have entered the United States, the Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Fake versions of a cancer drug made by Roche's U.S. unit have entered the United States, the Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.

The FDA advised healthcare professionals and patients that a counterfeit version of Genentech's Avastin (bevacizumab) had been distributed in the United States. The agency said the counterfeit versions carried Roche's logo instead of Genentech's and displayed batch numbers starting with B6010, B6011 or B86017.

February 15, 2012

Managed care and prescription plans are working to switch patients to generic versions of Pfizer's Lipitor despite the drug maker's efforts to reduce costs for the branded version, a new study suggested.

PHOENIX — Managed care and prescription plans are working to switch patients to generic versions of Pfizer's Lipitor despite the drug maker's efforts to reduce costs for the branded version, a new study suggested.

According to a report released Wednesday by Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions' inThought research group, while Lipitor (atorvastatin) has 41% of the market share of all dispensed prescriptions of atorvastatin, it has 35% of the payer approval volume.

February 15, 2012
Regulators, healthcare providers and the public at large have taken note of the rise in prescription drug substance abuse. A recent article titled "Oxycodone Prescriptions Rose Sharply" in the New York Times (1/11/2012) describes trends of double-digit percentage increases in the dispensing of certain narcotic based painkillers. And many states have, or will be, implementing prescription drug monitoring programs — also known as prescription monitoring programs — that track the physicians prescribing and the patients receiving controlled substances.

Regulators, healthcare providers and the public at large have taken note of the rise in prescription drug substance abuse. A recent article titled "Oxycodone Prescriptions Rose Sharply" in the New York Times (1/11/2012) describes trends of double-digit percentage increases in the dispensing of certain narcotic based painkillers.

February 14, 2012

Kerr Drug is launching a new campaign to get people to talk to their pharmacists, the chain announced.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug is launching a new campaign to get people to talk to their pharmacists, the chain announced.

Kerr said it would launch the "Just Ask" marketing campaign in stores and across various marketing channels to encourage its pharmacists and patients to talk to each other about prescriptions, conditions, health practices and overall health.

February 14, 2012

Generic drug maker Mylan plans to challenge a court decision that requires it to pay almost $20 million to a drug company whose product it tried to market as a generic.

PITTSBURGH — Generic drug maker Mylan plans to challenge a court decision that requires it to pay almost $20 million to a drug company whose product it tried to market as a generic.

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals sued Mylan and several subsidiaries in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware when the latter sought to market a generic version of Sunovion's Xopenex (levalbuterol hydrochloride) inhalation solution, a drug for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The jury's verdict includes an $18 million award.

February 14, 2012

The National Consumers League, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy have recognized five pharmacy schools for their public education efforts to help patients adhere to their medication routines.

WASHINGTON — The National Consumers League, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy have recognized five pharmacy schools for their public education efforts to help patients adhere to their medication routines.

February 13, 2012

Columbia Labs has transferred a new drug application for a topical drug designed to prevent premature birth in pregnant women to Watson Pharmaceuticals.

LIVINGSTON, N.J. and PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Columbia Labs has transferred a new drug application for a topical drug designed to prevent premature birth in pregnant women to Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Columbia Labs said Watson now has full rights and regulatory responsibility for all activities and sponsor obligations relating to the application for progesterone vaginal gel 8%. Late last month, the drug received a thumbs-down from an FDA panel that declined to recommend approval for it.

The FDA is expected to take action on the NDA by Feb. 26.

February 13, 2012
Multibillion-dollar pharmacy benefit management companies are advertising aggressively to try to convince Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to approve a merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solution.

Multibillion-dollar pharmacy benefit management companies are advertising aggressively to try to convince Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to approve a merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions (“PCMA launches advertising campaign,” Drug Store News, Jan. 17).

February 9, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration reached a major milestone on the path to a regulatory regime for follow-on biologics on Thursday with the release of draft guidance on biosimilar product development.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration reached a major milestone on the path to a regulatory regime for follow-on biologics on Thursday with the release of draft guidance on biosimilar product development.

February 9, 2012

Social media strategist Robin Leedy & Associates, a public relations and social media marketing agency, on Wednesday announced the signing of six clients featuring several brands in the health and beauty space.

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Social media strategist Robin Leedy & Associates, a public relations and social media marketing agency, on Wednesday announced the signing of six clients featuring several brands in the health and beauty space, including FeverAll acetaminophen suppositories by Actavis; Replens by Lil’ Drug Store; SpermCheck Fertility; The Natural Dentist by Revive Personal Products; Redex’s Udderly Smooth; and Boiron USA brands Oscillococcinum, Arnicare and Camilia.

February 8, 2012

While the financial burden that families face due to prescription drugs has declined, costs nevertheless remain a challenge for many of them, according to a new study by nonprofit research organization Rand Corp.

NEW YORK — While the financial burden that families face due to prescription drugs has declined, costs nevertheless remain a challenge for many of them, according to a new study by nonprofit research organization Rand Corp.

February 7, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Shire for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the company said Tuesday.

PHILADELPHIA — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Shire for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the company said Tuesday.

Shire announced the FDA approval of Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) capsules as a maintenance treatment for adults with ADHD. The drug already was approved for use in children and was approved for treating ADHD in adults in 2008.

The company said the approval was based on a clinical trial that showed more ADHD patients controlling their symptoms with Vyvanse than with placebo.

February 7, 2012

Two members of Congress are looking for co-sponsors for a bill that would strengthen the medication therapy management benefit in the Medicare prescription drug program.

NEW YORK — Two members of Congress are looking for co-sponsors for a bill that would strengthen the medication therapy management benefit in the Medicare prescription drug program.

Last year, Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ala.; and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., introduced H.R. 891, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act, which would allow elderly people with at least one chronic condition access to Medicare Part D coverage for MTM. Currently, only those with multiple conditions are eligible.

February 3, 2012

For all the fears about the patent cliff, at least one disease state seems to be on the up-and-up in terms of new drug development and new products.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — For all the fears about the patent cliff, at least one disease state seems to be on the up-and-up in terms of new drug development and new products.

(THE NEWS: FDA approves Bydureon. For the full story, click here.)

February 1, 2012

Impax Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday that it obtained exclusive U.S. commercial rights to a drug for migraine headaches made by AstraZeneca.

HAYWARD, Calif. — Impax Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday that it obtained exclusive U.S. commercial rights to a drug for migraine headaches made by AstraZeneca.

February 1, 2012

For the past several years, drug industry experts have spoken in terms of the “patent cliff,” the period when the patents covering several blockbuster drugs are set to expire, thus leaving their manufacturers with a big, gaping hole in their revenues as those drugs face competition from generics.

For the past several years, drug industry experts have spoken in terms of the “patent cliff,” the period when the patents covering several blockbuster drugs are set to expire, thus leaving their manufacturers with a big, gaping hole in their revenues as those drugs face competition from generics.

February 1, 2012

A possible pill mix-up has prompted Pfizer to recall more than two dozen lots of a prescription contraceptive drug, the drug maker said.

NEW YORK — A possible pill mix-up has prompted Pfizer to recall more than two dozen lots of a prescription contraceptive drug, the drug maker said.

Pfizer announced the voluntary nationwide recall of 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 (norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) tablets and 14 additional lots of the drug's generic version. Pfizer manufactured and packaged the drugs, while Akrimax Pharmaceuticals commercialized them, and they were sold under the Akrimax brand.

January 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug for anxiety made by Hi-Tech Pharmacal, the drug maker said Tuesday.

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug for anxiety made by Hi-Tech Pharmacal, the drug maker said Tuesday.

The FDA approved Hi-Tech's lorazepam oral concentrate in the 2-mg-per-mL strength, a generic version of Roxanne Labs' Intensol.

Branded and generic versions of the drug had sales of $10 million in 2011, according to IMS Health.


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January 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for Type 2 diabetes made by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim, the drug makers said.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for Type 2 diabetes made by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim, the drug makers said.

The FDA approved Jentadueto (linagliptin and metformin) tablets, designed to be taken twice daily. The approval marks the second since the two companies announced their collaboration to develop diabetes drugs in January 2011; the first drug approved under the Lilly-BI partnership was Tradjenta (linagliptin), approved in May 2011.

January 31, 2012

A goal to standardize risk evaluation and mitigation strategies and modernize the U.S. drug safety system in a proposed reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act has drawn support from the country's main chain retail pharmacy lobby.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A goal to standardize risk evaluation and mitigation strategies and modernize the U.S. drug safety system in a proposed reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act has drawn support from the country's main chain retail pharmacy lobby.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted written testimony Tuesday ahead of a congressional hearing on the reauthorization of PDUFA, originally enacted in 1992.

January 30, 2012

Will the merger of Express Scripts and Medco go through? Not if pharmacy lobbyists can stop it. There’s nothing new about the fact that different industry groups connected with retail pharmacy or health care can hold strongly opposing views about what’s good or profitable for their own members. But for undisguised hostility and tit-for-tat charges and countercharges, nothing comes close to the long-running feud between independent pharmacy and the pharmacy benefits management industry.

Will the merger of Express Scripts and Medco go through? Not if pharmacy lobbyists can stop it. There’s nothing new about the fact that different industry groups connected with retail pharmacy or health care can hold strongly opposing views about what’s good or profitable for their own members. But for undisguised hostility and tit-for-tat charges and countercharges, nothing comes close to the long-running feud between independent pharmacy and the pharmacy benefits management industry.

January 26, 2012

A federal court has stopped an injunction that would have prevented drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals and partner company Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from marketing or selling a generic version of a blood-thinning drug.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — A federal court has stopped an injunction that would have prevented drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals and partner company Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from marketing or selling a generic version of a blood-thinning drug.

January 25, 2012

The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund announced on Tuesday that it has awarded CVS Caremark a three-year contract to provide prescription drug benefits to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees, retirees and dependents, beginning July 1.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund announced on Tuesday that it has awarded CVS Caremark a three-year contract to provide prescription drug benefits to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees, retirees and dependents, beginning July 1.

The PEBTF account will be serviced from the CVS Caremark mail order pharmacy in Wilkes Barre, Pa., the specialty pharmacy in Monroeville, Pa., and the customer service center in Monroeville, Pa.

January 24, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new means of administering a cancer drug made by Takeda, the drug maker said.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new means of administering a cancer drug made by Takeda, the drug maker said.

The FDA approved injection under the skin of Velcade (bortezomib) for multiple myeloma and mantle-cell lymphoma, also known as subcutaneous injection.

Takeda said the approval was based on results of a phase-3 trial conducted on 222 patients who had not received the drug before that showed subcutaneous injection worked as well as intravenous injection.