FDA approves new treatment for HIV
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.
Albertsons begins $4.99 generic prescription drug program
BOISE, Idaho Albertsons today announced the launch of Albertsons Rx-tra Savings prescription discount program. The membership-based program offers 30-day supplies of more than 500 generic prescription drugs for $4.99. Albertsons pharmacies are also discontinuing the “Meet or Beat” pricing program, the company said.
Generic drugs included in the program include treatments for asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.
To join the program, members can pay a one-time $10 fee at the pharmacy to cover all members of the household. To launch the program, for a limited time Albertson’s is giving away $10 Albertsons gift certificates to those who sign up.
Albertsons operates 250 units in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.
APhA encourages more patient-pharmacist communication
WASHINGTON The American Pharmacists Association is urging customers to get to know their pharmacists for American Pharmacists Month, APhA said Wednesday.
“Pharmacists are on the frontlines of helping patients get the most out of their medications,” APhA chief executive officer and executive vice president John Gans said.
“As our population ages, and more people become dependent on medications than ever before, pharmacists will play an increasingly prevalent role on the healthcare team and in improving medication use and advancing patient care.”
An APhA survey has shown that almost 70 percent of consumers don’t know their pharmacists’ names, so during its campaign, the organization plans to “underscore the link between knowing your pharmacist and the safe and effective use of medications” and inform consumers of some of the patient-care services that pharmacists offer.