PHARMACY

CVS Caremark expands partnership with Google Health

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has expanded its partnership with Google Health so patients can now securely download their prescription and medication histories to their Google Health Account from CVS.com.

CVS Caremark has been a Google Health partner since it was launched in May 2008. Consumers using CVS Caremark for pharmacy benefit management services can already store, organize and manage their prescription history information online using Google Health. In addition, patients who receive treatment at MinuteClinic can also securely import their visit summaries to their Google Health Accounts.

“By enabling patients to download their prescription information directly into their personal health record, we are helping to close the gap in today’s fragmented health care system and provide a full view of a patient?s health,” stated Helena Foulkes, EVP at CVS Caremark.

To use the tool, customers of CVS/pharmacy must first be signed up for the Prescription Management feature on CVS.com. This feature also allows registered customers to manage their prescriptions online including ordering refills, choosing pickup locations, requesting prescription renewals and receiving alerts on generic alternatives. In order to maintain patient privacy, the consumer making the request for information will need to be authenticated on the CVS.com Web site before any data is shared with Google Health.

“With CVS/pharmacy now integrated on Google Health in addition to our other pharmacy and PBM partners, we estimate there are more than 100 million Americans who can get access to their prescription history online and securely download it to Google Health,” stated Sameer Samat, director of product management, Google Health. “This is good news, because having a current list of all your medications in one place helps you doctor, pharmacist, hospital and other care providers do a better job of taking care of you.”

Patients can sign up for Google Health by visiting www.google.com/health.

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Sun Pharmaceutical subsidiary extends tender offer to Taro

BY Allison Cerra

MUMBAI, India Sun Pharmaceutical announced Friday its subsidiary, Alkaloida, has extended the expiration date of the tender offer for the purchase of all outstanding shares of Taro.

The offer will now expire at on Friday, April 17, unless further extended or earlier terminated.

The tender offer was extended to comply with a continuing order issued by the Supreme Court of Israel, temporarily prohibiting the closing of the offer until the Supreme Court issues a decision on the appeal of the litigation commenced against Alkaloida and its affiliates by Taro and certain of its directors, regarding the applicability of the special tender offer rules under the Israeli Companies Law to the offer.

The Tel-Aviv District Court had previously ruled in favor of Sun that a special tender offer was not required. If the temporary order remains in effect on April 17, 2009, Sun expects to extend the Offer while the temporary order remains outstanding.

The offer was commenced on June 30, 2008 in order to comply with the terms of the Option Agreement between Alkaloida and the controlling shareholders of Taro. Alkaloida exercised its options to acquire shares of Taro from the controlling shareholders on June 25, 2008. The Option Agreement required Alkaloida, promptly after exercising the options, to commence a tender offer at $7.75 per share of Taro held by other shareholders.

The offer had previously been scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m. EST, Friday, April 3. As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on April 2, 2009, 25,617 shares had been tendered and not withdrawn from the offer.

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FDA reviews heart risks of depressive disorder medication

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Federal health officials said a schizophrenia drug from AstraZeneca also works against depression, though it carries risks of sudden heart death, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Seroquel XR is used by millions of patients to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Now London-based AstraZeneca wants the Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug for depression and anxiety.

Seroquel has severe side effects, including sudden death.

The company launched two new strengths of Seroquel XR (quetiapine fumarate) extended-release tablets last month. The new strengths, 50-mg and 150-mg, are in addition to the existing 200-mg, 300-mg and 400-mg strengths.

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