PHARMACY

Covidien launches TussiCaps; long-lasting cough relief tablet

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS Covidien recently announced the U.S. availability of TussiCaps (hydrocodone polistirex/chlorpheniramine polistirex) extended-release capsules, a hydrocodone antitussive oral capsule indicated for severe cough suppression for up to 12 hours.

“TussiCaps capsules offer patients a unique approach to handling the challenges of measuring liquid cough medications,” stated Chuck Bramlage, president, Covidien Pharmaceutical Products. “Our commitment to increasing patient safety and helping to reduce the potential for dosing errors is demonstrated in TussiCaps, which offers more precise and convenient dosing than liquid formulations.” 

A 2008 study published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy found that 85 percent of caregivers measured an excessive dose of liquid medication when using a dosing cup; only 4 percent measured an accurate dose with the cup. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has taken action to remove more than 200 hydrocodone antitussive products from the market due to concerns about medication errors, the company noted.

“The capsule formulation of TussiCaps and unit-of-use packaging give pharmacists an alternative that may reduce the likelihood of medication errors and eliminate the inconvenience of dispensing liquid products,” commented Herbert Neuman, chief medical officer and vice president, regulatory affairs for Covidien.

TussiCaps, which is approved by the FDA, is now available by prescription in 10 mg/8 mg capsules through wholesalers and pharmacies in the United States.   

TussiCaps extended-release capsules are indicated for the relief of cough and upper respiratory symptoms associated with allergies and colds. The most common adverse reactions include sedation, drowsiness and mental clouding, which may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for potentially hazardous tasks. As with other drugs in this class, there is the possibility of tolerance and/or dependence. TussiCaps capsules are not recommended for children under 6.

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Walgreens ships diabetes supplies for free to Medicare Part B patients

BY Jenna Duncan

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has announced that it ship diabetes testing supplies for free to people who have their supplies covered under Medicare Part B.

The move comes at a time when budgets are tight—especially for seniors. To make getting diabetes supplies easier and more affordable, Walgreens said, patients can pick up their testing items at one of the 6,400 stores or have supplies mailed to their home at no cost.

Those seniors who are eligible can sign up by calling 1-888-PARTB-65 (1-888-727-8265) or request a call from a Walgreens representative by logging on to https://www.walgreens.com/partb. Special Walgreens phone reps will assist with filing all of the necessary Part B claim forms and will answer any other additional questions, the company said.

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Bruno’s, Food World stores announce closings of many in-store pharmacies

BY Jenna Duncan

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Bruno’s over the weekend announced that 22 out 40 in-store pharmacies in Bruno’s and Food World stored throughout Alabama and Florida will be closed. The closures will affect about 60 employees, the company said.

Bruno’s will sell remaining prescriptions and pharmaceutical inventories to CVS, a spokesman told the local media. CVS may also retain some of Bruno’s pharmacy employees.

No word yet on what Bruno’s will do with the remaining space in stores.  

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