PHARMACY

Camber intros generic Abilify

BY David Salazar

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Camber Pharmaceuticals on Thursday announced that it had launched antipsychotic drug aripiprazole — a generic version of Abilify — in 2-, 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-mg strength tablets. 
 
Aripiprazole is used to treat schizophrenia, which affects about 1% of the population, and bipolar disorder. The FDA approved the first round of the generic in late April. 
 
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AARP report: Decreases in generics prices are slowing down

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — The AARP Public Policy Institute’s latest Rx Price Watch Report shows that, despite an overall 4% decrease in price in 2013, the prices of generic drugs seem to be dropping at the slowest rate since 2006. 
 
The report, which examined the prices of 280 widely used generic drugs, found that even though a majority saw a price decrease, more than a quarter of them increased in price. Among those that increased in price, some 11 medications had price increases over 30 percent. 
 
In the case of bacterial infection and acne treatment doxycycline hyclate, the price of 100 mg capsules and tablets increased over 1,000 percent. Rheumatoid arthritis medication methotrexate 2.5 mg tablets  increased in price over 250%. 
 
With generics constituting more than 75% of U.S. retail prescriptions, those who rely on generics — particularly elderly patients — will feel the impact of these increases, as well as the slower rate of cost decrease, in their wallets.
 
“Declining generic drug prices have helped many Americans’ pocketbooks, particularly older adults on fixed incomes,” AARP’s VP, policy, Debra Whitman said. “Unfortunately, recent trends indicate that we may not be able to rely on these savings forever.”
 
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FDA approves two IBS treatments

BY David Salazar

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D) on Wednesday. Both Patheon Pharmaceuticals’ Viberzi (eluxadoline) and Salix Pharmaceuticals’ Xifaxan (ritaximin) are now available to patients.
 
“For some people, IBS can be quite disabling, and no one medication works for all patients suffering from this gastrointestinal disorder,” the FDA’s Office of Drug Evaluation III director, Julie Beitz, M.D., said. 
 
Viberzi can be taken twice a day with food and can help alleviate tightening of patients’ bowels by activating receptors in their nervous system. Xifaxan is a treatment in which patients take the medication orally three times a day for 14 days. 
 
“The approval of two new therapies underscores the FDA’s commitment to providing additional treatment options for IBS patients and their doctors,” Beitz said.  
 
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