PHARMACY

E-pedigree law receives kudos from Generic Pharmaceutical Association

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law a bill to establish an electronic pedigree system to secure the drug distribution chain, drawing praise from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas, will lead to the development of an electronic pedigree and serialization system for tracking and tracing prescription drugs in the domestic supply chain and preventing counterfeit drugs from reaching the market.

“This legislation reflects the input of thought leaders across the entire pharmaceutical supply chain, and as a result of the hard work of the legislature and the governor’s staff, California has taken a major step toward creating a workable electronic pedigree system without harming patient access to affordable medicine in California,” GPhA president and chief executive officer Kathleen Jaeger said.

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Walgreens reports increase in sales for September

BY Jenna Duncan

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today reported that its sales for the month of September totaled $4.85 billion, up 10 percent from the same month last year. Calendar year-to-date, sales totaled $44.35 billion reflecting an increase of 9.9 percent from last year’s total of $40.36 billion.

The company also said that comparable-store sales, covering stores open for at least one year, increased by 4.7 percent. Front-end comp-store sales increased 1.3 percent, the company reported. Walgreens credited front-end sales numbers to strong beauty and consumables sales.

According to Walgreens, pharmacy sales comprised 67.2 percent of total sales for September. September pharmacy sales increased 11.2 percent, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.5 percent. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Total prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 3.5 percent.

In September, Walgreens cut the ribbon on 36 stores, including three relocations, and acquired three stores.

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FDA approves new treatment for HIV

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new combination therapy for HIV from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bristol announced Wednesday.

The treatment, which combines 300 mg of the drug Reyataz (atazanavir sulfate) with 100 mg of ritonavir, is for people with untreated HIV, also known as treatment-naive patients.

“Boosted Reyataz provides healthcare professionals a newly approved, once-daily dosing option as part of combination therapy for patients naive to HIV therapy,” said Dr. Elliott Sigal, Bristol’s executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president for research and development.

The treatment is based on the 48-week CASTLE study, which demonstrated that the once-daily combined therapy was similar in efficacy to the twice-daily combination of lopinavir and ritonavir.

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