PHARMACY

Actavis’ generic Valtrex OKed by FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic treatment for shingles and genital herpes made by Actavis, the drug maker said Wednesday.

The FDA approved Actavis’ valacyclovir hydrochloride tablets in the 500-mg and 1-g strengths.

The drug is a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Valtrex. Branded and generic forms of the drug had sales of about $1.5 billion in 2010, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Mylan to launch educational site about generic drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Though more than 7-in-10 drugs dispensed in the United States today are generics, and the Food and Drug Administration holds generics to the same standards as branded drugs, misgivings among the general public still exist, fed by the occasional media report of patients experiencing bad side effects after taking certain generic drugs.

In response, generic drug maker Mylan has launched an educational site about generic drugs, ChoosingGenerics.com. The website will include facts about generics, information about savings that patients can get from generics and ways for patients to talk to their doctors and pharmacists.

“While the debate over healthcare reform continues, one of the only proven solutions for controlling the rise of healthcare costs is generic pharmaceuticals,” Mylan president Heather Bresch said. “Generic drug companies have been providing high-quality, FDA-approved affordable alternatives to expensive branded medications in the [United States] for more than 25 years.”

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AACE, Takeda say online resource will provide accurate healthcare information

BY Allison Cerra

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., and DEERFIELD, Ill. — The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has teamed up with drug maker Takeda to develop an online resource that will be reviewed and evaluated by top medical experts.

AACE and Takeda will offer a compendium of existing reliable resources specific to Type 2 diabetes, divided into various categories (e.g., management, lifestyle and tools) and reviewed by experts to help healthcare professionals guide their patients and caregivers as they attempt to cut through the clutter of the many resources available.

AACE said the resource will address "the clutter of healthcare information on the Internet" on various health topics — particularly Type 2 diabetes.

The online resource will be available later this year.

"Inaccurate or incomplete information can lead to unnecessary stress or confusion among patients with Type 2 diabetes," said George Grunberger, founder and chairman of Grunberger Diabetes Institute in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and AACE board member. "With the ever-increasing number of Americans living with Type 2 diabetes, and with so many resources already available, we need to make it easier for healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers to access reputable and reliable resources as a foundation for treatment and care decisions."

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