PHARMACY

FDA, Novo Nordisk issue statement on stolen insulin

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. Three lots of a brand of insulin stolen in North Carolina have resurfaced and are being sold in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration and Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk announced Saturday.

The FDA and Novo Nordisk issued a joint statement after vials of Levemir (insulin detemir [rDNA origin]) reported as stolen in North Carolina turned up in Houston. The vials may not have been stored properly because they did not circulate through Novo Nordisk’s normal distribution channel and may be dangerous for patients to use, Novo Nordisk said. The FDA said one patient already had reported adverse effects after using one of the vials.

The vials are from lots XZF0036, XZF0037 and XZF0038. The agency is warning patients not to use Levemir that comes from any of those lots.

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Maryland offers free prescription card to residents

BY Michael Johnsen

ANNAPOLIS, Md. Maryland earlier this week launched a new statewide discount drug card program, called the Maryland Rx Card. The program, free to all Maryland residents, will provide savings of up to 75% on prescription drugs, though savings should average roughly 30%.

The program has no restrictions to membership, including no income requirements and no age limitations, and will be accepted at more than 50,000 pharmacy locations across the country.

The discount cards will be made available online at www.marylandrxcard.com, or at any Giant or Safeway pharmacy, both supermarket retailers have been named the preferred pharmacies for the program.

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Novo Nordisk discusses diabetes costs, patient motivation at conference

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The cost of diabetes to the country and the lag in patient motivation to take action to offset it were the major themes at a conference sponsored recently by a drug maker focused on the disease.

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk convened the conference in Washington, bringing in such speakers as American Diabetes Association CEO Larry Hausner.

Without intervention at the national and patient level, the company said, the country runs the risk of having 50 million people living with the disease by 2025.

“The growing prevalence of diabetes is having a profound effect on the health of current and future generations, as well as our national economy,” Hausner said. “We must awaken the public’s consciousness of diabetes and ensure our leaders in Congress recognize healthcare reform as their opportunity to transform the lives of all people affected by this devastating disease.”

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