PHARMACY

AstraZeneca launches Movantik

BY Ryan Chavis

WILMINGTON, Del. — AstraZeneca on Tuesday announced that Movantik (naloxegol) has launched in the United States. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 16 to treat opioid-induced constipation in adults who have chronic, non-cancer pain. 
 
"Movantik provides an oral treatment option that's specifically designed for patients struggling with opioid-induced constipation. When administered at recommended dose levels, Movantik decreases the constipating effect of opioids by blocking opioids from binding to mu-receptors in the bowel," said Cathy Datto, U.S. medical lead at AstraZeneca. "And because of its design, at recommended doses, the central nervous system penetration of Movantik is expected to be negligible, limiting the potential for interference with opioid pain relief."
 
According to the company, OIC is a common side effect of opioids and will typically persist for the duration of treatment. "We know many patients taking opioids for chronic non-cancer pain often experience OIC, and we believe Movantik is an important treatment option for those unable to effectively manage their symptoms,” added Dave Fredrickson, VP specialty care for AstraZeneca.
 
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PHARMACY

APHA adopts anti-execution policy at annual meeting

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN DIEGO — The American Pharmacists Association House of Delegates voted on Monday to adopt a policy discouraging pharmacist participation in executions, here, at the group's annual meeting.

The official policy states: “The American Pharmacists Association discourages pharmacist participation in executions on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care.

Commenting on the policy, APhA EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan stated, “Pharmacists are healthcare providers and pharmacist participation in executions conflicts with the profession’s role on the patient healthcare team. This new policy aligns APhA with the execution policies of other major healthcare associations including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Board of Anesthesiology.”

This new policy statement joins two policies previously adopted by the APhA House of Delegates:

• Pharmacist Involvement in Execution by Lethal Injection (2004, 1985)APhA opposes the use of the term "drug" for chemicals when used in lethal injections.

• APhA opposes laws and regulations, which mandate or prohibit the participation of pharmacists in the process of execution by lethal injection.

Nearly 6,000 pharmacists and student pharmacists from various pharmacy settings gathered, here, in San Diego to attend the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting and Exposition, APhA2015, which wrapped up Monday. This year’s theme, Advancing As One, speaks to how, by rallying together, pharmacists can simultaneously change the nation’s view of their role in the healthcare system.

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Amneal to acquire Actavis Australia’s generics business

BY Ryan Chavis

MELBOURNE and SYDNEY, Australia — Amneal Pharmaceuticals Pty will acquire Actavis Australia Pty’s generic pharmaceutical business, the companies announced. Financial terms of the agreement are not available at this time, though both sides said they would work quickly in order to avoid disruption of supply to those who purchase Actavis’ products.
 
Actavis will continue to promote and distribute such branded products as Actonel and Oxytrol. Additionally, Actavis will also continue to supply Botox, eye-care products and all other heritage Allergan products, the company said. 
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