PHARMACY

FDA approves label update of NovoLog

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. Patients can store and use an insulin analog made by Novo Nordisk for more time, under changes to the drug’s labeling approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Danish drug maker announced Wednesday that the FDA had approved the labeling changes for NovoLog (insulin aspart [rDNA origin]), allowing patients to use the insulin in their pump for up to six days. The previous label allowed NovoLog to be stored in the pump reservoir for two days.

The pump is a battery-powered device about the size of a pager designed to pump insulin in to the patient’s body throughout the day according to a preset program, consisting of a reservoir, a small battery, a pump and a thin plastic tube with a needle on the end.

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PHARMACY

Experts discuss medication adherence

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Poor adherence to medication regimens could counteract the benefits of healthcare reform, a panel of experts concluded Wednesday.

The panel — which brings together experts from GlaxoSmithKline, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, the National Consumer’s League and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — hopes to open a dialogue about medication adherence with between experts from the health, medical, insurance, business, employer, academic and government sectors.

“To date, medication adherence hasn’t been a prominent part of the debate,” conference moderator and founding editor of the journal Health Affairs John Iglehart said in a statement. “But no matter what shape health reform takes, it will ultimately be more successful if it supports the education and motivation of patients to properly follow their medication regimens.”

Participants in the panel will receive briefings on two new research efforts on medication adherence conducted by Avalere Health and the RAND Corp., respectively, using findings from the studies to guide the creation of policy and public education recommendations.

As many as 80% of patients may not be adhering to their medication regimens, according to research, resulting in adverse consequences and draining $100 billion to $300 billion from the healthcare system every year.

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MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals develops copay program for Moxatag

BY Alaric DeArment

WESTLAKE, Texas A company making a long-acting formulation of a common antibiotic has announced a program to minimize the drug’s cost to consumers.

MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday a $20 maximum copay program for Moxatag (amoxicillin) extended-release tablets in the 775 mg strength, designed to keep the drug’s cost to patients at $20 or less. The company said it will field 300 representatives and district managers to begin supplying physicians with voucher cards for the program.

“In this tough economy, we recognize the need to improve Moxatag’s affordability to the patient,” MiddleBrook president and CEO John Thievon said in a statement. “This $20 maximum copay program will replace our current $15 point-of-sale copay check program, which has been in place since Moxatag’s launch.”

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