PHARMACY

AgaMatrix launches diabetes application for iPhone, iPod Touch

BY Alaric DeArment

SALEM, N.H. The number of apps available for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch seems well on its way to exceeding the population of the United States, but that hasn’t stopped one company from developing an app for diabetes patients.

AgaMatrix, which manufactures the WaveSense line of blood glucose monitors, announced Tuesday the launch of the WaveSense Diabetes Manager, a diabetes logbook app designed to run on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The application is available from www.itunes.com for free, and AgaMatrix said it would lay the foundation for a series of other products designed to use the iPhone.

The app includes data entry, graphing of glucose data, automatic mealtime tagging of results, management of food intake, activity and medication and other features.

“Leveraging mobile technology to deliver better patient care is a major trend in the making and has the potential to transform the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes,” University of Washington professor of medicine and diabetes specialist Irl Hirsch said in a statement. “With the launch of WaveSense Diabetes Manager, WaveSense is setting the bar in the new disease management paradigm with a combination of an extensive feature set and very intuitive user interface.”

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Caraco settles patent suit over cancer generic

BY Alaric DeArment

DETROIT A generic drug maker announced Monday that it had settled patent litigation over a generic version of a cancer drug.

Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs said it reached a settlement with MedImmune over a generic version of the drug Ethyol (amifostine). MedImmune had filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Under the settlement, MedImmune granted Caraco a license to certain patents that permit Caraco to continue marketing its generic version of Ethyol in the United States.

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Biosimilars bill passed by House committee draws response from GPhA

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A House committee vote has brought a pathway for biosimilars one step closer to reality, but not in a way that pleases everyone.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 47-11 Friday to pass an amendment to the healthcare reform bill that would give biotech drugs 12 years of market exclusivity before they face competition from biosimilars.

“We are sincerely disappointed that some members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have decided to put brand pharmaceutical profits before patient needs,” Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement. “The amendment passed tosses patient needs out the window.”

In March, Reps. Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo, both California Democrats, sponsored competing bills in Congress to allow a regulatory pathway for biosimilars. Waxman’s bill would give biotech drugs five years’ market exclusivity before facing biosimilar competition, like the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, which created a pathway for generic pharmaceutical drugs. Eshoo’s bill would grant 12 to 14 years of exclusivity. The short-exclusivity plan has the support of the generic drug industry, patient advocates, pharmacy trade groups and The Washington Post editorial page, though legislation to allow longer exclusivity periods has advanced further in the House and Senate.

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