PHARMACY

Aetna, Zix announce three-year e-prescribing partnership

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Aetna and Zix Corporation have announced a three-year electronic prescribing agreement for northern New Jersey.

Under the agreement, certain primary care physicians in northern New Jersey will be eligible to receive, at no charge, an e-prescribing device and associated connectivity services.

The contract follows and existing and successful relationship between ZixCorp and Aetna that began with an e-prescribing pilot program in New Jersey and 2005, followed by New York and Connecticut in 2007.

More than 1,000 physicians are eligible for participation, and Aetna estimates that 40,000 of its members could benefit from the program.

“E-prescribing allows us to provide doctors with access to timely information, allowing real-time decision support to occur at the point of care, such as formulary information and potential adverse drug interactions that ultimately help doctors lower a member’s out-of-pocket costs and promote patient safety,” Aetna medical director for northern New Jersey Thomas Howe said.

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FDA raises questions about efficacy of pain medication tamper-proofing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Questions have arisen as to whether a pill by Pain Therapeutics and King Pharmaceuticals is resistant to tampering.

A memo by the Food and Drug Administration Monday concerns the drug Remoxy, a formulation of oxycodone that uses liquid capsule drug-delivery technology designed to prevent misuse of the drug. Some people have abused oxycodone tablets by crushing them, dissolving it in water and then injecting it for its opiate-like effects.

The FDA’s memo said that Pain Therapeutics did not sufficiently conduct long-term tests of Remoxy to determine whether the oxycodone could be extracted and diverted, though Pain Therapeutics disputes that claim.

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Titan releases earnings report for Q3 2008

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Titan Pharmaceuticals has released financial results for third quarter 2008.

Total operating costs for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, were $6 million, compared with $4.6 million for third quarter 2007, the company said. Net loss for the quarter was $5.9 million, compared to $4.3 million last year; losses in both cases totaled 10 cents a share. The increase in operating costs resulted mostly from an increase in research and development funding related to development of the opiate addiction treatment Probuphine (buprenorphine) and a slight increase in general and administrative costs.

“We have continued to streamline our expenses and focus our resources on the phase 3 clinical development of Probuphine,” Titan president and chief executive Marc Rubin said. “During the third quarter, we have engaged in discussions with several potential partners both in the U.S. and Europe, and we are continuing these efforts as we evaluate strategic alternatives for the company.”

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