PHARMACY

Court upholds ruling on Prilosec infringement

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A federal appeals court has affirmed that Apotex and Impax infringed on AstraZeneca’s patent for the drug Prilosec.

The court upheld the decision in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruling that the two companies infringed AstraZeneca’s ‘505 and ‘230 patents relating to omeprazole, the active ingredient in the heartburn drug.

AstraZeneca sued Impax in the district court after it filed an approval application with the Food and Drug Administration in December 1999 for a generic version of Prilosec in 10- and 20-mg doses.

Prilosec had global sales of $1.14 billion in 2007, according to AstraZeneca financial data.

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AstraZeneca adopts HealthHonors medication incentive program

BY Alaric DeArment

NORWELL, Mass. Patients will soon get reminders to take their medications as prescribed from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

HealthHonors announced Thursday that AstraZeneca had adopted its Dynamic Intermittent Reinforcement platform, a patient incentive program that uses intermittent reinforcement schedules to motivate patients to take their medications as prescribed.

Studies show that patients fail to take more than half of the 3.5 billion annual dispensed prescriptions as prescribed. This creates increased costs to the United States health-care system of more than $100 billion, as well as 125,000 deaths, accounting for 10 percent of all hospitalizations. A randomized study using HealthHonors’ program, however, found that patients who used it were 33 percent more likely to adhere to their prescription regimens.

“AstraZeneca is committed to finding innovative ways to help people lead healthier lives, and we believe the Dynamic Intermittent Reinforcement technology can help deliver on this goal,” said Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca’s vice president of marketing and sales operations.

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NACDS supports removal of e-pedigree legislation from bill

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is calling legislation to mandate electronic drug pedigrees unnecessary and doubts the bill will make it beyond a House committee.

NACDS vice president of government affairs Paul Kelly said that the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2008, sponsored by Indiana Republican Rep. Steve Buyer and Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, will not likely pass as a stand-alone bill. Efforts by Buyer and Matheson to attach the bill to the FDA Globalization Act have likewise not met success.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, supports the FDA Globalization Act, which requires electronic pedigrees for drug ingredients but not finished drugs, the FDA reported.

“We remain very pleased that Chairman Dingell has decided not to include an electronic pedigree requirement, and more importantly the track-and-trace requirement, in that bill,” Kelly said.

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