PHARMACY

FDA approves Schering-Plough’s Rebetol as hepatitis C treatment for children

BY Alaric DeArment

TRENTON, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new hepatitis C treatment for use in children.

Schering-Plough Corp. said Friday that the FDA had approved Rebetol (ribavirin), a pill that uses a genetically engineered from of an immune system protein, for children aged 3 to 17.

The virus affects about 130,000 children in the United States, most of whom acquire it before birth from their mothers. The virus also can be spread through intravenous needles and unprotected sex. It has no vaccine or cure.

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PHARMACY

Rite Aid upgrades cash registers to support FSA cards

BY Antoinette Alexander

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid has upgraded its pharmacy and front-end cash registers to make it easier for shoppers to use their Flexible Spending Account debit cards.

The pharmacy retailer is utilizing an inventory information approval system to allow customers to pay for eligible healthcare items with FSA debit cards. Eligible healthcare purchases on receipts are identified with an H to the right of the item’s price. These items are tallied by the cash register and can be paid for by an FSA debit card. The remaining balance for non-eligible items is paid for separately.

The FSA debits cards work similar to other debit cards and allow customers to buy certain health items using funds from a pre-tax accounts.

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FDA delays approval of Remoxy painkiller

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration announced that it needed more clinical studies of the pain pill Remoxy before it would approve it.

The pill, a formulation of oxycodone by King Pharmaceuticals and Pain Therapeutics, is designed in a capsule form that prevents abuse by people trying to get high.

On Wednesday, King Pharmaceuticals’ shares were down by 83 cents, at $9.13, and Pain Therapeutics were down by $1.82, at $5.93.

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