PHARMACY

Eisai launches new epilepsy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Drug maker Eisai will make a new epilepsy drug available in the United States starting on Monday, the company said Thursday.

Fycompa (perampanel) will be available to patients aged 12 and older as an add-on therapy for partial-onset seizures. The drug, which is scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule III controlled substance, received Food and Drug Administration approval in October 2012. The drug’s label carries a boxed warning, the strongest warning a drug can have, due to the risk of serious psychiatric and behavioral side effects.

"The availability of Fycompa gives physicians an important new adjunctive treatment option for the care of those patients whose seizures are not controlled by their current medication," Eisai Product Creation Systems president for neuroscience and general medicine Lynn Kramer said.

 

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Merck, Health Management Resources Corp. partner to form weight-management company

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Drug maker Merck is starting a new business designed to provide weight-management intervention services to employers, patients and healthcare professionals, the company said.

Merck announced the launch of HMR Weight Management Services Corp., which it said would provide weight-management interventions that combine a structured diet, behavior coaching and monitoring and physical activity to aid weight loss. Merck is working with Boston-based Health Management Resources Corp. to launch the new subsidiary, though HMR will continue to operate as an independent company.

"We’re excited to provide scalable weight-management interventions based on approaches that have shown consistent results in clinical trials and that have been effective in the battle against obesity," said Len Tacconi, who will head the new company as president.

HMR provides its programs through a network of licensed clinics in medical and academic centers and a remote-delivery program called Health Solutions at Home; according to a clinical study of the program, the median weight loss for participants was 23 pounds after 12 weeks, Merck said.

 

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San Antonio-based pharmacy offers special services to personal injury victims

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN ANTONIO — A Texas pharmacy is allowing personal injury victims to obtain drugs and medical supplies immediately through their attorneys.

Hill’s Drug Store, based in San Antonio, announced Sunday that it would begin offering personal injury attorney-collection for victims of accidents or illnesses, whereby the store collects payments for supplies from victims’ attorneys rather than the victims themselves. Hill’s, which describes itself as one of the city’s most comprehensive medical supply stores, said the program allows victims who have filed personal injury claims to obtain needed supplies — including drugs, wheelchairs and others — through legally binding agreements with attorneys’ offices called letters of protection, without having to immediately pay for them out of pocket.

Normally, when a victim files a claim, he often must wait months or even years to settle the case and receive payment, Hill’s said.

 

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